Hezbollah’s leader is warning Israel against “stealing” Lebanon’s natural oil and gas resources.
A dispute is building between the two arch enemies over their maritime border and huge natural gas and oil reserves beneath the sea.
Lebanon has submitted its own sea boundary proposal to the UN, and Israel’s government earlier this month approved a conflicting proposal that it sent to the world body.
Lebanon called it a violation of international laws and the country’s sovereignty. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iranian-backed Shiite Hezbollah, warned Israel in a speech Tuesday that his group would retaliate for any future attack on Lebanon’s oil and gas installations.
Nasrallah said Hezbollah was willing to provide Lebanon with the necessary aid to retrieve the maritime territory. He said anyone daring to hurt Lebanon’s gas facilities will suffer similar attacks, adding that Beirut is capable of defending its gas reserves.
The Hezbollah leader mocked Israel and claimed it did not achieve its goals in the Second Lebanon War. He said the main outcome of the war was the collapse of trust between “the occupying nation and its army leadership.” He also ridiculed Israel’s air defense systems.
Nasrallah slammed President Shimon Peres, who claimed that the fact that Hezbollah’s leader hides in a bunker was a testament to Israel’s achievements in the war. “The goal was to weaken Hezbollah and it only became stronger,” Nasrallah said. “The goal was to create a new Middle East and that has ended.”
Nasrallah added, “Israel forgets it was the one to create aggression, carries out slaughters and occupies our land.” He advised Israeli leadership to listen to “the generals who were beaten in Lebanon.”
“The current chief of staff was the commander of the division that was beaten in Lebanon in 2000 and abandoned the South Lebanon Army. The current Northern Command chief was in Lebanon and was ambushed by Hezbollah men. He took four bullets to the chest. Your fate in Lebanon can only be defeat.”