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Hezbollah to defend oil, gas reserves

July 27, 2011 at 8:46 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, July 27 (UPI) -- Hezbollah respects Beirut's authority on border demarcation, though reserves the right to avenge attacks on oil and gas installations, its leader said.

Noble Energy announced a "significant" natural gas discovery last year at the Leviathan field about 80 miles off the coast of Haifa in the deep waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The company estimated there are around 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves there.

Lebanon contends that a portion of Leviathan lies within its maritime borders.

In a speech marking the anniversary of the 2006 war with Israel, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said border demarcation was something for state officials.

"We, in the resistance, don't interfere in the border demarcation process and we will deal with the situation as approved by the Lebanese state," he was quoted by Hezbollah's al-Manar news station as saying.

Hezbollah has told Israel not to touch its resources, however, spurring threats of retaliation from the Israelis.

Nasrallah added that Lebanon would rely on support from the military and the resistance to defend the country's natural resources.

"I tell the friends and the foes that Lebanon will rely on all the elements of strength in order to regain its natural resources," he said.

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