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Israel minister threatens Lebanon over disputed gas fields

Israel's Energy Minister Karine Elharrar waits for a meeting between Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the sidelines of the COP26 Climate Conference at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland on November 2, 2021. [ALBERTO PEZZALI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]
Israel's Energy Minister Karine Elharrar waits for a meeting between Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the sidelines of the COP26 Climate Conference at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland on November 2, 2021. [ALBERTO PEZZALI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar repeated on Friday the Israeli claims that the Karish field located in the disputed maritime zone between Israel and Lebanon is an Israeli area, vowing to use military action to protect it, AlWatan Voice reported.

Speaking to the BBC, Elharrar disclosed that Hezbollah threats would not affect Israel's continuous gas exploration in the Karish field.

Elharrar called for Lebanon to negotiate the issue, warning that the Israeli army was ready for any military scenario.

Previously, Elharrar stated: "The rig will not pump gas from the disputed territory. However, the State of Israel prioritises the protection of its strategic assets and is prepared to defend them and the security of its infrastructure, all in accordance with its rights."

Regarding mediation between Israel and Lebanon, she shared: "Israel is still waiting for the outcomes of the American mediation," pointing to the US energy envoy who visited Lebanon and brought a new proposal.

On 5 June, Lebanon rejected the arrival of the London-based, Greek-owned Energen to work on the Karish field.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun issued a strong warning noting that the vessel entered "the disputed maritime area with Israel" and threatened that "any action or activity in the disputed area represents a provocation and an aggressive action."

READ: Lebanon, Syria, Egypt sign gas import agreement

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