Portuguese / Spanish / English

Israel raises state of alert around gas fields 

An Israeli navy vessel is pictured off the coast of Rosh Hanikra, an area at the border between Israel and Lebanon (Ras al-Naqura), on June 6, 2022 [JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images]
An Israeli navy vessel is pictured off the coast of Rosh Hanikra, an area at the border between Israel and Lebanon (Ras al-Naqura), on June 6, 2022 [JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images]

The Israeli security and military forces have raised the level of alert and preparedness around vital gas fields in the disputed maritime zone in the Mediterranean Sea, local media reported.

According to reports, Israel has decided to enhance security measures in the Mediterranean Sea against the background of stalled talks with Lebanon over the demarcation of their maritime borders, the entry of a gas extraction platform to the Karish site and Tel Aviv's plans to start extracting gas from the field in September.

Lebanon warns Israel against aggressive action in their disputed waters – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

"In order to defend the platforms and Israel's interests in the maritime region, a multi-arm alliance has been formed that includes the Ministry of Public Security, the Navy, the Operations Division, the Air Force, the Northern Command, and the intelligence services, with the aim of preparing for the possibility that Hezbollah might try to carry out a military or provocative operation in order to provoke Israel or harm the gas extraction process," media outlets said.

Israeli security sources confirmed that the head of the Intelligence Division, Major General Aharon Haliva, has allocated resources to counter threats in the maritime arena and to defend the economic maritime zone.

The Israeli forces have in recent months considered a number of scenarios, including "a missile attack on targets in the economic maritime zone," local media said, citing security officials.

Secretary-General of Lebanon's Hezbollah group Hassan Nasrallah has warned that his group could attack one of the Israeli gas platforms.

Nasrallah also warned that Hezbollah is "capable of deterring the enemy, and hitting any targets it desires anywhere in the sea of occupied Palestine, and on land."

READ: Hezbollah says won't allow Israel to extract gas from disputed zone

Israel's Wallah website reported that in recent months, the Navy has conducted several manoeuvres during which the various units dealt with cruise missile attacks, precision missiles and regular missiles attacks, adding that "in the next month, it is assumed that another major exercise that simulates a scenario in the maritime arena which will incorporate technological improvements, will take place."

According to the website, 99 percent of Israeli imports take place via the sea, and the security establishment fears that the attacks will harm not only the gas rigs, but also Israel's maritime freedom.

Categories
IsraelLebanonMiddle EastNewsPalestine
Show Comments
Writing Palestine - Celebrating the tenth year of the Palestine Book Awards - Buy your copy of the book now
Show Comments