Lebanese President Michel Aoun says he has ordered the country’s armed forces to confront any attempt by Israel to undermine Lebanon’s sovereignty, as Israeli officials stir more territorial tensions with Beirut.
(Web Desk) Addressing a cabinet session on Thursday, Aoun vowed to “prevent any Israeli aggression on Lebanon’s land and water” in the wake of disagreements with Israel over Mediterranean oil fields as well as a planned border wall.
“We hope to put an end to this matter through diplomatic channels, yet our military has been given the orders to confront any threat to our sovereignty,” Aoun asserted, noting that talks were underway “to prevent Israeli greed.”
The two sides have nearly come to blows over a tender by Lebanon in December for oil and gas exploration projects in two of the country’s 10 offshore blocks in the Mediterranean Sea, namely Block 4 and Block 9.
Israel, which claims sovereignty over the ninth block and claims it runs into its side of the Mediterranean, has blasted the move as “very provocative.”
The Tel Aviv regime has also escalated the tensions by announcing plans for a wall to isolate the occupied Palestinian lands from Lebanese territories.
Lebanon has objected to the plan, saying the wall violates its sovereignty by passing through territory that belongs to the country but is located on the other side of a UN-designated Blue Line, which sets the limits for Israel’s 2000 withdrawal from southern Lebanon.
Present at Thursday’s cabinet session was Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who called on “all political parties to put aside their differences and stand united in the face of Israel’s aggression.”
He also said “communications with the international community are underway to confront Israel’s ambitions.”
A day earlier, Lebanon’s Higher Defense Council, also chaired by Aoun, held an extraordinary session to double down on Beirut’s stance.