During tensions over a maritime border dispute between Beirut and Tel Aviv, Lebanese President Michel Aoun stated on Monday that his country rejects Israeli threats.
During a meeting with a Lebanese parliamentary delegation, Aoun stated that Israel “is acting in violation of international rules and resolutions, taking advantage of the international community’s silence on its violations of Security Council resolutions.”
Beirut will not relinquish its “rights to invest its gas and oil money,” according to the Lebanese leader.
Aoun expressed optimism that US mediator Amos Hochstein will help Lebanon and Israel forward their indirect dialogue.
On Sunday, Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi warned Lebanon that any future battle would be met with an “overwhelming force,” saying that Israel has identified hundreds of sites in Lebanon that would be targeted if the two countries went to war.
According to maps submitted to the United Nations in 2011, Lebanon and Israel are fighting over an 860 square kilometer maritime territory.
Natural gas and oil are abundant in the area. Under UN sponsorship and US intervention, Lebanon and Israel held five sessions of indirect negotiations. The most recent round of talks took place in May 2021, however it was stalled due to serious disputes.