Lebanese DM: Israel doesn't respect UN resolutions, threatens sovereignty

Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Zeina Akar shakes hands with a military personnel as she arrives to attend the cabinet meeting at the presidential palace in Baabda (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIR)
Lebanon's Defense Minister Zeina Akar stated on Saturday that Israel is committing "thousands" of violations of Lebanese sovereignty every year, adding that Lebanon is working with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to stop such incidents.
The comments were made during an interview with the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Ahed news outlet marking the anniversary of the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

"We must not forget that Israel does not respect international resolutions, especially UN resolutions," Akar said, adding that Israel commits "thousands of violations annually" and threatens Lebanese sovereignty.
"This matter is unacceptable and must be condemned," said Akar, stressing that Lebanon is "committed to the survival of UNIFIL forces in the South" and that there is "excellent" coordination between the Lebanese army and international forces.
Akar told Al-Ahed that coordination between the army, the Lebanese people and Hezbollah was important and was what led to the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon.
In response to plans by Israel to begin exploration for oil and natural gas in an area near disputed waters, Akar stated that Lebanon will uphold its rights and sovereignty over all its lands, waters, airspace and oil, and confirmed that any activity in the Block 9 area is constantly monitored by the Lebanese Army and UNIFIL.

In June, Israel's Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz approved the beginning of the competitive process for granting a natural gas and oil exploration license for Block 72. Preliminary investigations in the area have found potential gas fields similar geologically to other fields in the area, such as the Tamar field.
Block 72 is located near Lebanon's Block 9 gas fields, where Lebanon plans to begin explorations for natural gas and oil within the next few months. Block 72 and Block 9 are located along the border of disputed waters between Lebanon and Israel.



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