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Israel: Hezbollah attack on Karish field may bring new war

A Hezbollah attack on the Karish gas field in the eastern Mediterranean could lead to a new war between the Lebanese Shiite group and Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has warned.

Lebanon and Israel, neighboring countries officially at war, are holding negotiations under the auspices of Washington to settle their border dispute and remove obstacles to hydrocarbon exploitation.

The tension began in June with the arrival at the Karis offshore field, located, according to Beirut, in disputed waters, of a ship that was to begin the exploitation process on behalf of Israel.

Since then, Hezbollah, a powerful armed group that dominates Lebanese political life, has repeatedly warned Israel against any activity at the field. In early July, the Israeli military intercepted unarmed drones sent by Hezbollah towards Karis.

“The Israeli government has made it clear that the Karish field is south of the disputed zone, there is no question about that. And the field will produce natural gas when it is ready for production,” Benny Gantz told radio network 103 FM today. .

“The State of Israel is both ready to protect its assets and reach an agreement with the Lebanese government with American mediation on the Sidon field,” another natural gas field, which is called Qana by the Lebanese, the Israeli minister added. Defense.

“I believe that in the future, there will be two platforms, one from our side and one from theirs. And I hope that before that happens, we will not have had to go into a new round of conflicts,” he added.

When asked about the possibility that a Hezbollah attack on the “Israeli natural gas field” would lead to a “war escalation”, to “war”, the minister answered in the affirmative.

“Yes, this could provoke a reaction, lead to multi-day hostilities and a military campaign. We are strong and prepared for this scenario, but we do not want it,” he added.

Initially, the negotiations covered an 860 square kilometer zone, according to Lebanese claims as recorded at the UN in 2011.

But then Lebanon claimed rights to a zone of 1,430 square kilometers, which includes part of the Karis field. For Israel, this deposit is within its UN-recognized Exclusive Economic Zone.

Source: Capital

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