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Israeli security officials warn of Hezbollah escalation if no agreement with Lebanon on maritime border

A picture taken on February 24, 2018 from Lebanon's southern border town of Naqura on the border with Israel, south of Beirut, shows the maritime boundaries between Lebanon and Israel. [JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images]
A picture taken on February 24, 2018 from Lebanon's southern border town of Naqura on the border with Israel, south of Beirut, shows the maritime boundaries between Lebanon and Israel [JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images]

Senior Israeli officials warned, Thursday, that the chances of a confrontation with the Lebanese Hezbollah group will increase, if Tel Aviv did not reach an agreement with Lebanon regarding the maritime borders.

This came during a cabinet security meeting attended by Chief of Staff, Aviv Kohavi, Military Intelligence Chief, Aharon Haliva and Head of Intelligence Research, Amit Saar, Mossad Director, David Barnea, Shin Bet Director, Ronen Bar, and National Security Advisor, Eyal Hulata.

The meeting discussed the latest developments in the maritime border talks with Lebanon taking place under US auspices and Lebanon's response to the American proposal as well as the Israeli proposal.

Tensions surrounding the maritime dispute have risen in recent weeks, after a gas production vessel arrived in Israel with plans to launch extraction operations in the Karish offshore field as early as September, drawing condemnation from Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah has recently sent drones over the Karish field which were downed by the Israeli defences.

Last month, Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, warned that his group "will reach Karish and everything beyond Karish and everything beyond that."

The US mediator in the maritime border talks, Amos Hochstein, is scheduled to return to the region to resume talks between the two sides.

READ: Israel asks Lebanon to restrain Hezbollah 'provocations'

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