Amid tensions with Hezbollah, Israel tests anti-ship missiles

The Israeli Navy conducted a successful test of the latest generation of anti-ship missiles last month, the military (IDF) and defense ministry said on Wednesday. The announcement came at a time when tensions between Israel and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah over the disputed Karish gas field in the Mediterranean have been rising. After Israel announced that it was preparing to connect the oil rig above the Karish gas field to the Israeli pipeline network, the Hezbollah chief threatened war.

“The advanced missiles ensure the maintenance of the IDF’s superiority at sea and are used by the Navy in its missions, including the protection of strategic assets of the State of Israel,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

Recent tensions between the neighbors have been simmering for a decade and center around some 860 square kilometers of Mediterranean Sea that runs along the two countries’ borders. The situation has recently escalated after Tel Aviv allowed drilling ships to sail in the direction of the Karisch gas field to exploit gas wells. From Israel’s perspective, the gas field lies within its territorial waters and not within a disputed area at stake in negotiations with Lebanon over the sea border between the two states.

As the US-brokered negotiations over the Israel-Lebanon sea border near their final stages, Benjamin Netanyahu posted a video on Twitter in which he explained that Prime Minister Jair Lapid had completely backed down in the face of threats from Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah. The former Israeli prime minister said that Lapid had panicked over Nasrallah’s threats, adding that Lapid wanted to extradite Karish to the Lebanese – “a billion-dollar gas field that would be used by Hezbollah to procure thousands of rockets , which will eventually be directed at Israel”.

Speaking to Israeli journalists in New York on Wednesday, Prime Minister Lapid called Netanyahu’s accusations that he had caved in on controversial gas fields “terribly irresponsible”. Lapid said Monday Israel would continue gas production in Karish “with or without an agreement” on the sea border with Lebanon. For its part, Hezbollah apparently now wants to do everything in its power to prevent Israel from producing oil and gas in the Karish gas field.
more on the subject – Hezbollah publishes drone footage of Israeli ships in disputed sea area

Source: RT

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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