Dec 08, 2021

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Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel on Friday not to drill for oil and gas until the maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon is resolved.

“If the enemy thinks they can act as they please before reaching a solution to this issue they are wrong,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech, according to Reuters.

Lebanon’s cabinet brought up the question of Israeli drilling in the disputed area to the United Nations permanent representative and others after Israel granted U.S. firm Halliburton an offshore drilling contract in September, according to the report.

Hezbollah would “act accordingly” if it found that “Lebanese oil and gas is in danger in the disputed area,” said Nasrallah.

In November, Israel and Lebanon postponed talks begun last year to resolve the dispute, though it was agreed the two sides would continue discussions with U.S. mediators separately.

The focus of the negotiations is a disputed 330-square mile area straddling the maritime border region in the Eastern Mediterranean, rich with natural-gas fields.

Both states claim that the area concerned falls within their respective exclusive economic zones and continental shelves—theoretical 200-nautical-mile zones within which coastal states enjoy exclusive rights to benefit from natural resources.