Tension between the occupation state of Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon over the Karish gas field has reached an unprecedented level, Safa news agency said on Wednesday. The field is in Mediterranean waters claimed by both Israel and Lebanon.
Israeli military sources have described the situation as “the most dangerous since the end of the second Lebanese war in 2006.” They pointed out that the gas field might trigger a serious armed confrontation.
Israel and Lebanon have been engaged in indirect talks mediated by the US over the rights to the offshore gas field as well as the demarcation of maritime borders between the two countries, which have no diplomatic ties.
Last month, Hezbollah sent four drones to the area around the gas field which were shot down by the Israeli army. Hezbollah said that the drones fulfilled their purpose.
According to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, the drones were “only the beginning.” The movement will “go to war” if gas is extracted by the occupation state before the issue is resolved.
Israeli media report that the occupation government is pressing Washington to try to reach an agreement with Lebanon in the coming weeks, because it is scheduled to begin extracting gas in September.
The Times of Israel pointed out that Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his Defence Minister Benny Gantz flew over the gas field recently. It described the move as an attempt to underline Israeli sovereignty over the location. The politicians also warned that Israel would go to war for it.
Israel Hayom reported today that a Lebanese newspaper, Al Akhbar, has said that the government in Beirut expects to receive an upgraded proposal on the disputed gas field. The proposal could apparently come as soon as this weekend when US mediator Amos Hochstein returns to the region.