The Israeli military will conclude three days of drills near the Lebanese border mid-Tuesday, with civilians told to expect to hear explosions in the area.
Despite heightened tensions with the Lebanon-based Iranian-proxy terrorist group Hezbollah, the Israel Defense Forces announced the drill in advance, indicating that it did not come from a change in the military situation.
Tensions between Israel and Lebanon increased recently over the rights to maritime territory off the coast of Lebanon and Israel, which contains rich deposits of natural gas. The ongoing U.S.-brokered talks are believed to conclude with an imminent agreement.
The maritime-territory conflict involves some 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea that is claimed by both countries. While Israel holds that the area lies within its internationally recognized economic waters, Lebanon started voicing a claim to the Karish gas field, or implying that it lies within disputed territory, upon Israel’s installation of a gas rig in the area.
In recent months, Hezbollah indicated that it is completely opposed to granting any concessions to Israel. In July, the terrorist organization launched four unarmed, surveillance drones toward the Karish gas rig – all of which Israeli forces shot down.
The last time Israel fought a war in Lebanon was in 2006; the two nations have no diplomatic relations but are separated by a United Nations-patrolled ceasefire line.
Last May, Israel held joint exercises with Cyprus, simulating a deep military strike into Lebanon against Hezbollah. The Chariots of Fire exercise, held that same month, predicted thousands of Lebanese casualties and 300 Israeli deaths.
The simulation estimated that Hezbollah would launch about 1,500 rockets a day.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.