Following a news article in the Lebanese press, the IDF has confirmed that an additional Hezbollah drone was shot down by Israeli forces over the Mediterranean last week, in the area of Israel’s Karish gas field.
This is in addition to three drones intercepted over Lebanese waters on Saturday which were also launched by the terror group Hezbollah toward Karish.
The UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle – commonly referred to as a drone) that was taken down last Wednesday was intercepted within Lebanon’s exclusive economic zone, some distance from Israel’s maritime border and did not pose a threat, the military said.
The Karish gas field is in an area claimed by both Israel and Lebanon. Hezbollah, which took credit for three of the drones, has threatened Israel over its work at the gas field. But Lebanese politicians have chided Hezbollah for its “risky” and “unacceptable” provocation.
The IDF has not disclosed how it brought down the June 29 drone, but is believed to have used electronic warfare capabilities. The three drones that were destroyed on Saturday were brought down by an Israeli fighter jet and missiles launched from Navy ships.
The Israeli Navy uses a seaborne Iron Dome defense system to guard storage and offloading vessels at the Karish gas field. The border dispute regarding maritime waters has been going on for several years and, despite U.S. involvement, negotiations have continually stalled over the issue. However, U.S. Envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein announced last week that some progress has been made.
The arrival last month of a new drilling platform at the site caused Hezbollah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah to again threaten Israel, announcing that his organization is ready to use force to stop such operations.
“We pledge to the Lebanese people: the resistance is materially and militarily capable of preventing the enemy from extracting gas from the disputed Karish field,” he said.
Tensions between Hezbollah – based in Lebanon across from Israel’s northern border – have been palpable in recent months with occasional cross-border skirmishes, drones and even the random rocket. The Iranian-backed terror group has a stockpile of an estimated 150,000 missiles and rockets.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.