The Israel Defence Forces have deployed unmanned drones to watch over offshore gas fields for fear of an attack by Lebanon's Hezbollah. Reports in the Jerusalem Post claim that the decision to deploy drones was made in order to maintain a 24-hour presence over the site following threats by Hezbollah to launch a military attack on the gas rigs in a disputed area of the Mediterranean Sea. The movement has warned Israel about violating Lebanon's territorial waters.
A senior Israeli defence official said, "UAVs [drones] are a critical part of the battlefield today, as can be seen by the dramatic increase in the amount of flight hours of drones in the IAF – and they can also contribute to watching over gas fields."
The head of Israel's Naval Intelligence, Yaron Levi, claims that Hezbollah and Hamas have obtained advanced missiles capable of hitting Israeli ports or offshore oil and gas rigs.
The discovery of large undersea reserves of natural gas has prompted Israel to propose formal maritime borders between Israel and Lebanon in what has been described as a cynical ploy, given that the Zionist state has never declared its land borders formally.