In a change of tone on Saturday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrullah assessed the US-mediated draft resolution of the maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon as a “very important step”.
In a televised speech, Nasrullah, who has repeatedly threatened to attack Israel if it begins drilling in the disputed Karish gas field, appeared more conciliatory, saying the resulting deal “opens up new and promising horizons for the Lebanese people. brought the country out of crisis”.
He said that the coming days are “decisive” and he hopes that the negotiations will bear fruit.
“Only Lebanon will decide on the demarcation of its maritime borders and will do so as Lebanon sees fit for the state,” he said.
In addition, the leader of the Hezbollah terrorist group stressed that the progress towards resolving the dispute is the result of the “power” of Lebanon, as opposed to the “generosity” of the United States and Israel.
On Saturday morning, Lebanese President Michael Aoun met with US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea. received a written offer From US mediator Amos Hochstein for the demarcation of the maritime border with Israel. The dispute covers about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea, which includes lucrative offshore gas fields.
Several Hebrew media reported that Israel also received an offer from the United States. The information says that the Cabinet of Ministers will meet next week to approve the agreement.
Nasrullah said last week that his Iran-backed terror group’s missiles were “locked” on Karish, and in July the group shot down four unarmed drones toward the gas field.
According to Channel 12, under the resulting agreement, the location of the proposed border would be a compromise between the two sides. Lebanon will be able to drill for gas five kilometers north of Israel’s Karish gas facility, the report said.
An unnamed security official told the network that the draft proposal guarantees Israel’s security interests.
US-brokered talks on rights to the region, the subject of long-running indirect talks between Jerusalem and Beirut and repeated threats by Hezbollah, have made progress in recent weeks.
Kan news released a poll on Saturday, 46% of respondents supported the current interim government’s decision to negotiate, while only 16% opposed it. The rest said they were not sure about the topic or did not have enough knowledge.
Earlier this month, Lapid’s office vowed to extract gas from Karish with or without an agreement on Israel’s maritime border with Lebanon. The comments came hours after Aoun said indirect talks with Israel to end the maritime border dispute were in the “final stage”.
Lapid’s spokesman issued a statement that day saying: “Israel believes that an agreement between Lebanon and Israel regarding the sea line is both possible and necessary in a way that serves the interests of the citizens of both countries. “
For more than two years, Lebanon has been facing a crippling economic, political, and energy crisis that has deprived citizens of basic necessities and created a vacuum for the Hezbollah terrorist group to gain a foothold in the country. Lebanon sees the economic benefits of gas exploration as a potential key to helping it emerge from the crisis.
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