Lebanon, as so often in the past, is facing mortal danger.
Saudi Arabia is putting great pressure on the Lebanese Prime
Minister Saad al-Hariri, a powerful but controversial figure who
holds dual nationality Saudi and Lebanese. Riyadh expects Lebanon
to play by its own rules, sidelining Hezbollah, ending
Iranian influence in the country, and promoting Saudi business and
political interests or else. It is clear that foreign aid from the
Gulf is increasingly conditional.
Tension with Israel is also mounting. A military conflict could
erupt at any moment, with devastating consequences. Between 1978
and 2006, Israel attacked its northern neighbor on five occasions.
The last time Israel invaded Lebanon, during the so-called Lebanon
War in 2006, at least 1,300 Lebanese people were killed and 1
The Israeli air force is lately, unceremoniously, violating
Lebanese air space, flying over its territory on the way to Syria,
where it is bombing selected targets, grossly violating various
To make things worse, Israel has begun building an ugly concrete
wall right at the border line, an act which Lebanon views almost as
a declaration of war. The Lebanese military received orders to
confront Israeli bulldozers and construction crews, if the building
of the frontier barrier continues. Both sides are now using
intermediaries to communicate, but a confrontation may take place
at any moment.
There is also a maritime dispute between the two countries, over
an oil and gas rich area, which both countries are claiming as
their own. This quarrel is also threatening the fragile peace
between Israel and Lebanon. Although some would say, what peace,
really, if both nations are still technically at war?
Reported by AP, on February 8, 2018:
Israel has in recent days escalated its threats against Lebanon
over Lebanons invitation for offshore gas exploration bids on the
countries maritime border.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman described Lebanons
exploration tender as very provocative and suggested that Lebanon
had put out invitations for bids from international groups for a
gas field,which is by all accounts ours.
His comments drew sharp condemnation from the militant Hezbollah
group and Lebanese officials, including Hariri, a Western ally, who
described Liebermans comments as a blatant provocation that Lebanon
Abi Assi quoted Hariri as saying Thursday that area in the water
that Israel is claiming, is owned by Lebanon.
A day after the above report appeared, Lebanons energy minister
said, the dispute with Israel would not stop Lebanon benefiting
from potential undersea reserves in the contentious Block 9.
An international consortium consisting of three giant oil
companies Italys Eni, Franc...