Energy Minister Jibran Bassil slams Israel’s ‘aggression’ over gas issue, warns of instability ahead. Lebanon has enough power to react, he says

Doron Peskin
Published: 03.06.11, 13:03 / Israel Business

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The Lebanese energy minister in the transit government, Jibran Bassil, discussed the discovery of gas in the Middle East on Friday, saying that, Lebanon faced three major challenges when it comes to energy, with Israel being the main issue.

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Bassil declared that every time Israel wanted to harm Lebanon it attacked – once against the tourism sector and now against anything that has to do with gas.

“As Lebanese we mustn’t keep quite and say: ‘This is how it is,'” said Bassil during a geopolitical conference on the gas and oil situation in Lebanon and the Near East.

The Lebanese minister mentioned Lebanon must not wait for Israeli “aggression” when it comes to its gas and oil resources. “We have to directly react and we cannot allow Israel to think, not even for a moment, that it can be aggressive towards our oil resources,” he added.

Bassil hinted the gas situation could escalate and turn into a conflict, which will bring more instability to the area.

“Once we hesitate Israel will become aggressive. Today Lebanon has enough power to react. We’ve warned all companies investing in Israel that if they get close to our oil resources the area will turn unstable, something which will affect the interests of those companies and Israel as well,” said Bassil.


Bassil emphasized that “the oil might cause a conflict but it can also bring peace and stability. Israel must choose which option it prefers.”

Doron Peskin is head of research at Info-Prod Research (Middle East) Ltd.,7340,L-4038002,00.html