"We don’t accept that our land or our territorial water be lessened," Deputy Chief of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah Shia group Sheikh Naim Qassem said on Wednesday, as quoted by the Al-Manar broadcaster, adding that Hezbollah was ready to resist any possible Israeli aggression.
Hezbollah is a Lebanon-based Shia movement founded in 1980s and engaged in several military conflicts with Israel. The group is also supporting incumbent Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is a representative of the Alawites, a Syrian Shia minority.
As Israel tried to warn off foreign companies from accepting a Lebanese tender on a natural gas deposit located in the area of the Mediterranean Sea claimed by both Lebanon and Israel, it received a pointed retort from Hezbollah.
In 2006 Israeli armed forces invaded Lebanon in counter-move for a cross-border raid by Hezbollah which resulted in several Israeli soldiers being killed and two being abducted. The following conflict lasted 34 days and ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire, only after claiming the lives of about 1,200 Lebanese and some 160 Israelis.