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Hezbollah warns of war amid maritime border dispute with Israel

Women walk past the Israeli Rosh Hanikra Crossing, also known as the Ras al-Naqoura Crossing, between Israel and Lebanon on June 6, 2022. - Tensioned flared between the two nations after a new Israeli gas drilling rig entered the disputed maritime borders, in a move the Lebanese labelled as an act of aggression and a provocation. (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP) (Photo by JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images)

Lebanese group, Hezbollah, has warned of war against Israel if Beirut was not allowed to extract oil and gas from a disputed maritime field, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Hezbollah chief, Hassan Nasrallah, said his group is able to prevent Israel from extracting gas from disputed maritime fields.

"The resistance is the only force that Lebanon has in the border demarcation negotiations," Nasrallah said in a televised speech aired late Wednesday.

"If you want to get to a formula where this country is barred from taking advantage (of these fields), then no one will be allowed to extract gas or oil and no one will be able to sell gas or oil," he warned.

READ: Lebanon warns Israel against 'encroaching' on maritime wealth

Last month, Hezbollah sent three unarmed drones into the disputed Karish field for a "reconnaissance mission". The Israeli army, for its part, said it had intercepted the drones in "its economic exclusive zone" near the borders with Lebanon.

Lebanon and Israel are engaged in a dispute over a maritime area that is 860 square kilometres (332 square miles), according to maps sent by both counties to the UN in 2011.

The area is rich with natural gas and oil. Five sessions of indirect negotiations were held between Lebanon and Israel under UN sponsorship and US mediation. The last round of talks was in May 2021, but it was stuck because of major differences.

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