The leader of Lebanon’s Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, threatened Wednesday in a televised address that no one will be allowed to extract natural gas and oil if Lebanon can’t, the Lebanese Naharnet news outlet reported.
“For the first time in the history of the Zionist entity, the resistance launched three drones at the same time and towards the same target, and we have the ability to send armed drones of various sizes and with bigger numbers,” Hassan Nasrallah said, referring to Hezbollah’s attempted attack earlier this month on the drilling platform in Israel’s Karish gas field.
The three Hezbollah UAVs were intercepted by an F-16 IAF fighter jet and an Israeli navy missile ship at a “safe distance” from the drilling platform, the Israel Defense Forces said. Two of the drones were shot down, for the first time, by Barak missiles from the Saar 5 Class Corvette INS “Eilat.” The third was shot down by an Israel Air Force combat jet.
“The drones’ message and its magnitude say that we are serious. . .We will do what’s needed and this message has been delivered to the enemy. We have various capabilities on land, at sea and in the air and all of these are open choices,” he said.
“We are serious, and this path is the only path to rescue the state,” he continued. “If we continue in this manner, we are heading towards what’s worse than war. . .threatening with war and going to war would be more honorable than what the enemy wants for us.
“If you don’t allow [international] companies to extract oil [from the oil and gas fields near Israel’s maritime boundary with Lebanon] we will flip the table on the entire world.
“Write down the new equation: Karish, what’s beyond Karish. . . we are following up on all fields, wells and platforms across Palestine,” Nasrallah threatened.
“If the objective is to prevent Lebanon from extracting oil and gas, no one will be able to extract gas and oil nor to sell gas and oil, no matter the consequences.”
Nasrallah claimed that US energy envoy Amos Hochstein, who is mediating a dispute between Lebanon and Israel over the two countries’ maritime borders, is “working for the Israelis.”
Progress was being made in recent days in the negotiations between Israel and Lebanon, according to remarks by Lebanese President Michel Aoun and senior Israeli officials.
Hochstein is currently accompanying US President Joe Biden on his visit to Israel that began Wednesday afternoon.
The envoy is expected to continue his talks with Israeli energy officials over the maritime border dispute.
The Hezbollah chief claimed that Hochstein came to the region not to mediate, but rather because of “the urgent need to secure an alternative to the Russian gas and the resistance’s serious threats.”