Sheikh Nabil Qaouq, who is a member of Hizbullah's executive council, said in a June 19, 2022 public address that aired on Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) that the U.S. is collaborating with "the Israeli enemy" to prevent Lebanon from drilling for offshore oil and natural gas. He said that this is keeping Lebanon on the path to economic collapse, and that the U.S. wants Lebanon to make concessions regarding the settlement of Palestinian refugees and normalization with Israel. Qaouq's statement comes on the backdrop of recent developments in a maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon revolving around offshore natural gas and oil reserves.
Sheikh Nabil Qaouq: "The main obstacle preventing Lebanon from being saved from collapse is the position of the U.S. and its insistence on suffocating Lebanon. It is preventing Lebanon from receiving help, no matter from which country.
"America is responsible for preventing the transfer of electricity from Jordan to Lebanon. It is responsible for preventing international oil companies from drilling for oil and gas in Lebanon's Exclusive Economic Zone.
"America collaborates with the Israeli enemy in preventing Lebanon from [using] its gas and oil resources. America does not want this to happen. It wants to tighten its grip more and more in order to force Lebanon to make concessions with regard to the settlement [of Palestinian refugees] and normalization of relations with the Zionist enemy."