Hezbollah threatens September attack, ‘ready for all options’

Israel has recently begun to develop the Karish gas field near the Lebanese border, and Hezbollah is now threatening war by September.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hasan Nasrallah has threatened to attack Israel in September for the fourth time in recent weeks, saying it “has to be ready for all options.”

Speaking on Ashura Day on Tuesday, the terror group’s leader reiterated that on the issue of the disputed maritime border between Israel and Lebanon and the nearby gas fields, “we are waiting for the responses to Lebanese State’s requests, but I tell you that we have to be ready for all options.”

The common Israel-Lebanon maritime boundary is disputed between the two countries. The issue has been under discussion for over a decade. The focus of both sides is the oil and gas discoveries in the territorial waters which are under dispute.

In recent years, the two countries held talks, mediated by the U.S. and hosted by the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) at Rosh Hanikra.

Amos Hochstein, the Biden administration’s Special Envoy for International Energy, is currently serving as mediator. He has traveled between Jerusalem and Beirut in recent weeks, and while expressing optimism, has not brought any final resolution.

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Israel has recently begun to develop the Karish gas field in the area, and Hezbollah is now threatening war by September.

In his address, Nasrallah said to Israel that “many threats were made against Lebanon, don’t miscalculate. Any Aggression on Lebanon won’t go unpunished.”

“Don’t be mistaken about us, neither regarding the gas nor regarding the border. Do not make a mistake and resort to assassinations. We heard that they [Israel] want to eliminate senior Palestinian officials in Lebanon. An attack on any person in Lebanon will not go unanswered,” he warned.

Israel is ‘prepared to take action’

Nasrallah has made similar threats in recent weeks, declaring that “if Lebanon is prevented from extracting its maritime resources, Israel will not be able to sell gas and oil.”

He pointed out that in September, Israel will start extracting gas and oil from Karish, “which will make it so hard for Lebanon to restore its rights. If you do not prove your rights before September, things will be costly after this deadline.”

Hezbollah has already attacked the Karish rig twice. On June 29, the IDF intercepted a Hezbollah drone on its way from Lebanon toward the Karish gas field, situated off Israel’s northern shore.

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A few days later, Hezbollah dispatched another three drones toward the gas field. The three were interpreted by the IDF. Israel has yet to respond to any of the attacks.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz stated last month that Israel is “ready to do much for its neighbors’ prosperity and is prepared to take action at any time to protect its citizens. We are prepared in all areas – land, sea, air and cyber. We see the crisis in Lebanon, which is hurting its citizens.”

“Lebanon and its leaders know very well that if they choose the path of confrontation – they will be hurt and get burned severely,” he warned. “If they choose the path of stability – they will be helping the Lebanese people.”

Israeli forces in the north are on high alert following several attempts by Hezbollah to attack Israel’s Karish gas rig, situated off its northern shore.