Photo Credit: Jamal Awad / Flash 90
An Israeli navy boat patrolling the Lebanese maritime border, May 4, 2021.

Israel Defense Forces are preparing for a possible attack by Iran’s Lebanese terror proxy, Hezbollah, on the newly-installed offshore drilling rig in the Karish natural gas reservoir, according to a report Sunday night by Israel’s KAN-11 public broadcaster.

The move follows threats that were issued this weekend by Hezbollah, and by the Lebanese government, following the news that the drilling rig was on its way to anchorage in the Karish gas field.

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Lebanon Threatens Israel After Gas Drilling Rig Enters Karish Gas Field

Lebanon claims that parts of the field are located within its maritime territory. Israel disputes the claim.

Lebanese General Security directorate head Abbas Ibrahim warned, “As long as there is no agreement on the maritime borders [with Israel] Lebanon will respond as if its sovereignty and rights have been violated,” according to blogger Abu Ali Express.

The rig, anchored on Sunday about 80 kilometers west of Israel’s Mediterranean coast, is operated by the British-Greek Energean company, headquartered in London.

A Naval Iron Dome system is being deployed to the area to protect the rig from missile fire.

In addition, the area will be secured by Israeli Navy vessels both above and below the Mediterranean surface, including submarines, according to the report.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.