After the recent and positive development in Saudi-Israeli relations, more than one question mark is raised about the speed with which other Arab countries that have not yet established relations with Israel will join. Among these countries is Lebanon, Israel’s neighbor, which has its own situation internally and externally with regard to the issue of Israel in particular.
There is no doubt that the Saudi-Israeli development has an Arab impact, as the Kingdom is the primary key in establishing directions and has a great influence on the Arabs, according to prominent Arab diplomatic sources. She told “Sawt Beirut International” that Lebanon will now not take any step as long as it does not have a president. But after the election of a president, which is expected during the period between now and next February, Lebanon is still clinging to its previous and valid equation, that it is the last Arab country to sign peace with Israel. Arabs first, then Lebanon last.
Despite the maritime demarcation agreement and the internal Lebanese and Lebanese understanding of all Lebanese components indicated on the importance of stability on the southern border, and this stability with the restoration of rights will open great horizons, there will be no discussion of relations with Israel before Lebanon obtains its rights on the land borders.
Lebanon will not be divided over the issue of its rights, but its components may not be completely harmonious, after obtaining the rights, on the issue of relations with Israel, and this remains dependent on its circumstances, the circumstances of the region, and international-regional trends.
So, Lebanon’s land borders are already demarcated, but they require Israel to withdraw from the 13 points on the Blue Line, which is problematic. It must also withdraw from the Shebaa Farms, the Kafr Shuba Hills, and the northern part of Ghajar, or what is called the tract of the town of al-Mari. There are Lebanese lands that Israel still occupies, and it must withdraw from them, and then think about the issue of relations with them. Without resolving the issue of the Israeli occupation, nothing will happen at the level of establishing relations, and in the long run, the United States of America wants full Arab relations with Israel.
Hence, during his recent visit to Lebanon, Presidential Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein resorted to sounding out the officials’ pulse on the possibility of Washington playing a role in the issue of settling the outstanding ground issues between Lebanon and Israel.
Regional stability matters to Washington, and Lebanon will not be opposed to this stability if it includes the realization of its rights. It contributed to the stability of the sea, and it will follow the same approach with the stability of the land.
If an understanding is reached on land after the sea, and if Lebanon moves to a state of peace with Israel later, what will be the fate of Hezbollah’s weapons?