BEIRUT – Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is threatening the Israeli Karish gas field with warnings that if there is “procrastination” with gas extraction from Lebanese waters for Lebanon, operations will be stopped at the Israeli Karish field.
“If there is an intentional procrastination regarding the issue of oil and gas from Lebanese waters, will we allow Israel to continue extracting oil and gas from Karish?” Nasrallah said. “I tell you never. This means if you want us to starve, we will kill you, and I thought well of what I said.”
He added that the United States “must be told to stay away” from the oil and gas extraction issue off Lebanon’s coast.
Nasrallah made similar threats against the Karish field during the months leading up to last year’s Lebanese-Israeli maritime border deal. Hezbollah launched several reconnaissance drones toward the field, with some of them reportedly shot down by the Israeli forces. The Energean company began producing gas from the Karish field the day before the deal was signed.
Nasrallah directed several threats to the United States on Thursday, vowing that Washington’s scheme in Lebanon will be foiled and that Hezbollah’s retaliation would be “unimaginable.”
Energean exported Hydrocarbon liquids earlier this week from the Karish field. This was the first such export in Israel’s history. Meanwhile, gas and oil exploration has been almost nonexistent off Lebanon’s coast. In February, Qatar’s state-owned gas and oil company, QatarEnergy, announced that it would participate alongside Italy’s Eni and TotalEnergies of France in gas and oil exploration off Lebanon’s coast.
In January, Eni and TotalEnergies announced that they expected assessments to begin in early February. Exploration and drilling would not start until the third quarter of this year. However, even if reservoirs are found off Lebanon’s coast, it could take years before Lebanon begins producing gas and oil.
During a speech on Thursday, Nasrallah also warned against any U.S. “conspiracies” threatening Lebanon. He said Hezbollah would “extend its hand against Israel, and whoever expects us to stand idly by is mistaken.” The U.S. has been repeatedly blamed by the secretary-general for making Lebanon’s economic crisis even worse.
“I tell the American government that if they want to sow chaos in Lebanon, you will lose everything,” Nasrallah said. “Those who bet that pain and suffering will make our environment abandon its principles and achievements are delusional.
“If you push Lebanon into chaos, you must expect chaos to spread in the entire region, foremost of which is your protege, Israel,” Nasrallah added. “Just as we were ready for war in defense of our oil and gas, we are ready to use our arms against your protege, Israel.
“Regarding the issue of the maritime borders, we were ready to go to the option of war. Today I say that whoever wants to push Lebanon into chaos or total collapse must expect from us the unimaginable and that tomorrow, we will see it soon.”
Nasrallah went on to mention Israel’s political crisis.
“The situation in the enemy’s entity is unprecedented on the international level,” he said. “The strategic environment and the current foolish government are pushing matters into two major clashes. The first internally in Israel and the second with the Palestinians, and it may extend throughout the region.
“For the first time in the Zionist entity, we hear talk from the president of the entity, former prime ministers and former defense ministers, all of whom talk about civil war, bloodshed, the imminence of an explosion and emigration,” Nasrallah added. “The head of the occupation entity himself acknowledged his fears of an imminent internal explosion and the collapse of the entity.”
The Hezbollah leader also referenced the growing tension throughout Jerusalem and the West Bank and the recent operations by “lone wolf” resistance fighters.
“The foolish Zionist government may push for escalation in the entire region, not only in Palestine, and this is a possibility, especially if al-Aqsa Mosque is damaged.”