Hezbollah chief warns Israel missiles 'locked on Karish’ gas field
'We will not allow that oil and gas be extracted... before Lebanon obtains its rightful demands'
Chief of the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah militant movement, Hassan Nasrallah, warned Israel against extracting gas from the offshore Karish field partly claimed by Lebanon, amid maritime border talks between the neighboring countries.
Referring to announced upcoming tests at Karish – which is set to soon be connected to Israel’s national gas grid – Nasrallah said in a televised speech that Hezbollah “sent a very strong message” concerning the tests.
“The red line to us is that there should not be extraction from Karish,” he said, adding that Israel clarified it would not involve extracting gas from the disputed gas field.
The Lebanese cleric said Hezbollah is giving a “real chance” to the maritime negotiations, which US envoy Amos Hochstein is working to demarcate a maritime border between Lebanon and Israel to allow for offshore drilling.
Lebanon claims part of Karish, which Israel says lies in its waters and is not part of the disputed area.
“We are following up on the negotiations and… our missiles are locked on Karish,” Nasrallah said, adding: “As long as extraction has not started, there is a chance for solutions.”
“We will not allow that oil and gas be extracted from the disputed Karish field before Lebanon obtains its rightful demands.”
Nasrallah’s comments are just the latest in a string of threats of attacks if gas is extracted, materializing in four unarmed Hezbollah drones launched toward Karish in July.
Earlier this week, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Lebanon would suffer from dire consequences if the Iran-backed group sabotages the maritime negotiations.