According to sources in Lebanon, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is convinced that he has already won the battle over the maritime agreement between Israel and Lebanon, even though Israel rejected Lebanon’s new demands.
Nasrallah estimates that the American pressure on the Israeli government will increase and it will not be able to refuse the demand of the Biden administration to sign the agreement, the American president very much wants an Israeli signature on the agreement in order to supply gas to Europe from non-Russian sources.
The Secretary General of Hezbollah is convinced that Israel is deterred from his organization because of the enormous amount of rockets and precision missiles it possesses and its ability to hit all of Israel’s gas rigs in the Mediterranean Sea and strategic facilities within Israel itself, Hassan Nasrallah believes that Israel only understands the language of force and that its political and military elite are afraid of war
That is why he allowed himself to launch four drones towards the “Karish” gas rig in order to deliver his message to Israel.
The Lebanese government, with the backing of Hezbollah, does not intend to back down from its new demands, it is Hezbollah that sets the policy and the transitional government will not agree to any compromise without a green light from Hezbollah.
The assessment in Lebanon is that Prime Minister Yair Lapid will do everything in his power to postpone the possible military confrontation with Hezbollah until after the Knesset elections at the beginning of next month, the agreement on the maritime border will probably not be signed before the Knesset elections on November 2.
Massive American pressure
The Biden administration is putting massive pressure on Israel and Lebanon to compromise on the differences and sign the agreement, France is also involved in the talks.
The US administration sees the expected agreement as support for US efforts to deter Iran and isolate Russia and support European energy security.
Hassan Nasrallah is undecided in light of the catastrophic economic situation Lebanon is in, he cannot oppose the agreement because this would damage his image in Lebanon, but he wants to prove that all of Lebanon’s achievements in the negotiations for the agreement are due to him and stem from his military power and the threats he launched towards Israel.
Nasrallah wants to preserve the dispute between Israel and Lebanon on the maritime border between them, therefore, Lebanon is not ready to recognize the Israeli security line as the international border.
This is a 3 km long line that runs from the Ras al-Nakura area towards the Mediterranean Sea and was established in 2000 unilaterally by Israel after the withdrawal from southern Lebanon.
The Secretary General of Hezbollah is currently facing three important immediate challenges:
Completing the negotiations on the maritime border agreement between Lebanon and Israel and signing the agreement, establishing a new government in Lebanon and electing a new president to replace President Michel Aoun, who ends his post at the end of the month and was a puppet of Hezbollah.
Hassan Nasrallah estimates that the agreement between Lebanon and Israel is a fait accompli and that Israel will not be able to avoid it and that it is a victory for Lebanon and Hezbollah, which was able to protect Lebanese interests through terrorism and threats against Israel.
According to sources in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah wants Suleiman Faranjiya to be the next president of Lebanon and that he is a figure who would not dare to go against Hezbollah.
Nasrallah also accelerated his talks with the Speaker of the Parliament Nabia Berri and with Jubran Bassil in order to quickly reach an understanding on the formation of the new government in order to avoid a deep crisis that would further undermine the stability of Lebanon.
The new government in Israel that is supposed to be formed after the elections, and no matter who heads it, must change the paradigm, it is impossible to continue with the current strategy against Hezbollah.
Israel must switch to air strikes in Lebanon as well, Hezbollah must not be given immunity and be content only with air strikes on Iranian targets in Syria.
Israel must deter Hezbollah and prevent it from intensifying further in Lebanon even if this leads to an escalation, it must gradually destroy the entire array of rockets and missiles it has built since the end of the Second Lebanon War.