Jerusalem (AP) —The new Israeli Prime Minister visited the border with Lebanon on Tuesday without notice and threatened to unleash a harsh military reaction to an “unacceptable” attack by the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group.
The visit took place during a period of heightened tensions with Hezbollah, a heavily armed group that fought Israel during the one-month war of 2006. Israel said it had intercepted a drone from Lebanon territory on Monday, and last week Hezbollah leaders threatened Israel. Military expansion When a dispute over maritime boundaries is not resolved in Lebanon’s favor.
“Israel is ready to counter all threats,” said Yair Lapid, who took over as Israeli caretaker Prime Minister on July 1. .. “
When he toured the area, he was joined by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and the best military personnel.
Israel considers Hezbollah to be the most serious and imminent threat, and estimates that Iran-backed groups include approximately 150,000 rockets and missiles targeting Israel.
Earlier this month, the Israeli army said Shot down three unmanned aerial vehicles The Israeli gas platform was launched by Hezbollah towards an area recently set up in the Mediterranean. Hezbollah has confirmed that it has launched three demilitarized drones into the disputed waters.
The launch of the drone was like Hezbollah’s attempt to influence US-mediated negotiations between Israel and Lebanon across natural gas-rich maritime boundaries.
In a speech last week, Hezbollah leaders said Lebanon should be able to extract oil and gas in Lebanon’s waters, and sending drones is “a modest beginning to where the situation could go.” Warned.
Lebanon claims that the Kalish gas field is a conflict area, and Israel states that it is within an internationally recognized economic zone. The United States has been mediating indirect negotiations since October 2020.
Both Israel and Lebanon, which have officially been at war since the founding of Israel in 1948, claim about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon is tackling the worst economic crisis in modern history and wants to harness its offshore gas reserves.