Hezbollah continues to escalate rhetoric in Lebanon maritime border demarcation

bouhabib
File photo: Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib . Hezbollah’s firing of drones drew criticism from Bou Habib. “Any act that falls outside the framework of the state’s responsibility and the diplomatic track within which negotiations are taking place, is unacceptable and exposes (Lebanon) to unnecessary risks,” he said after meeting caretaker PM , Najib Mikati.
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Hezbollah continued to escalate its rhetoric in Lebanon’s maritime border demarcation negotiations with Israel. 

The Iran-backed party again justified its firing of drones towards Israel’s offshore Karish gas field earlier this month. 

Hezbollah central council member Sheikh Nabil Qaouq justified the attack, saying the party helped restore momentum to the negotiations and boosted Lebanon’s negotiating position. 

“The resistance [Hezbollah] is Lebanon’s strategic treasure and shield,” he added. 

“It carried out its duties to serve the Lebanese people and preserve their dignity and wealth,” he remarked. 

“The message of the drones took place at the right time and place and its impact was immediate. It was a completely national message and Lebanese in its goals. The message is not tied to the Iranian nuclear negotiations or American visits,” he added. 

Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah said on Saturday that the party is now in a position of strength and it believes it is concerned in protecting all of Lebanon’s wealth. 

He accused Israel of maneuvering in the negotiations through a dishonest American mediator. 

The maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel returned to the fore last month after Israel moved a production vessel into Karish, parts of which are claimed by Lebanon. 

The move forced the Lebanese government to call for the resumption of US-mediated negotiations that had hit a wall last year over demarcation disputes. 

Hezbollah for its part threatened Israel and the company that owns the production vessel against proceeding with extraction, saying it was ready to stand in the way. 

Lebanon is now waiting for a response from Israel after relaying its maritime border position to US mediator Amos Hochstein who visited Beirut last month at the request of authorities. 

Hezbollah’s firing of drones drew criticism from Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib. 

“Any act that falls outside the framework of the state’s responsibility and the diplomatic track within which negotiations are taking place, is unacceptable and exposes (Lebanon) to unnecessary risks,” he said after meeting caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati. 

Bou Habib on Monday called on “all parties to show a spirit of supreme national interest and commit to… supporting the state in the negotiation process,” in a veiled message to Hezbollah.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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