Nasrallah’s speech regarding the maritime border and the offshore gas rig: “This is up to the state to decide”
Despite Israeli reports last night, Hassan Nasrallah didn’t threaten anyone in yesterday’s speech. For almost an hour, Hezbollah’s secretary-general spoke only on the issue of Lebanon’s maritime border with Israel, and the Greek Energean offshore rig that recently anchored at the “Karish” gas field.
Listening to his remarks, one couldn’t miss Nasrallah’s careful choice of words, for once not threatening Israel. Nasrallah declared that the authority over Lebanon’s maritime border rests solely with the State of Lebanon, and that Hezbollah will not interfere in the matter.
Nasrallah repeated the Lebanese president’s remarks, saying that Israel anchoring a new offshore rig is a provocative and aggressive move.
Nasrallah turned to the Lebanese people and explained that the maritime border and natural gas issue should become a national one, behind which the Lebanese people, the government, and the “resistance” should stand, strengthening the Lebanese negotiating team in its stand against Israel.
Towards the end of his speech, Nasrallah put himself in the role of advisor to the Lebanese government, saying that in the “opinion of the resistance”, the offshore gas rig should be prevented from producing gas. The rig should also be removed from its place, along with its Greek staff.
Again, Nasrallah is saying that this is the opinion of the “resistance”, without claiming the authority on the matter. As he explicitly explained before, that authority lies solely in the hands of the Lebanese government. According to him, Hezbollah is not involved in the negotiations.
Another interesting detail from the speech is that usually when Nasrallah speaks, verses from the Qur’an are presented behind him in the background. This time there was nothing. Beyond that, his tone of voice was not inciting and he remained relatively calm, his body language not conveying any signs of aggression whatsoever.
In conclusion, Nasrallah is well-versed in launching unequivocal threats on Israel. He knows how to do that. If he wanted to, he could’ve said something like: “If Israel starts producing natural gas from “Karish” we will attack its offshore rig.”
But he didn’t, and there’s a reason why. While no one doubts that militarily, Hezbollah can attack the rig if it wanted to, it’s clear that the organization is in a position where it is simply unable to do so, preferring to stay on the sidelines than risk confrontation.