Sheikh Qassem told Reuters on Monday that Hezbollah is ready to take action, “including by force,” against Israeli gas operations in the disputed waters once Beirut adopts a clearer policy, a day after a vessel operated by London-based Energean (ENOG.L) arrived off the coast to develop a gas field known as Karish.
“When the Lebanese state says that the Israelis are assaulting our waters and our oil, then we are ready to do our part in terms of pressure, deterrence and use of appropriate means – including force,” Qassem said.
“The issue requires a decisive decision from the Lebanese state,” he added, saying that Hezbollah “urged the government to hurry up, to set a deadline for itself”.
Qassem said the resistance group would act “no matter the responses” even if it led to a broader conflict.
“The most important step that we must take as soon as possible is forming a government, because the country without a government will collapse towards an even worse situation,” he said.
Qassem said the next priority would be focusing on financial recovery. While Hezbollah has expressed skepticism about Lebanon’s preliminary relief agreement with the International Monetary Fund, he said such a deal was a “necessary bridge” to access other funding, Reuters said.
On Sunday, Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati warned that ‘Israel’ is provoking crisis in disputed waters in the Mediterranean Sea by encroaching on Lebanese resources and maritime wealth.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun also condemned the move on the same day, warning that any activity in the disputed waters would amount to an act of aggression and a provocation.