Nasrallah threatens war over gas fields as soon as September

“If the extraction of gas from ‘Karish’ begins in September before Lebanon gets its rights, we will have a problem,” the Hezbollah chief stated.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah took to the airwaves Monday to threaten Israel again over the development of its offshore natural gas fields.

In an interview on Lebanese TV in honor of the Iranian proxy’s 40th anniversary, the terror chief stated, “All of Israel’s gas fields are under threat from our missiles – not just Karish. The ships that extract the gas are Israeli, even if under a Greek banner.”

Greek energy exploration and production company Energean bought the rights to both the Karish and Tanin offshore fields and recently sent a floating rig to start extracting gas from the Karish field. Its first gas delivery to an Israeli power plant is set for the third quarter of this year.

“There is no target in the sea or in the air that is not within the range of Hezbollah’s precise missiles,” Nasrallah warned. “If the extraction of gas from ‘Karish’ begins in September before Lebanon gets its rights, we will have a problem.”

Beirut and Jerusalem renewed negotiations over their maritime border almost two years ago under UN auspices and with American mediation. Lebanon then claimed in December that the disputed boundary was really much further south than the line under discussion and included the Karish field, a position Israel firmly rejected. Lebanon then reportedly backed off, but not before Hezbollah issued a number of threats against Israel.

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The terror organization also threatened to strike Karish when Energean’s rig arrived, and earlier this month it sent three UAVs, apparently to attack the sensitive site. The IDF shot down one drone with a missile from an F-16, and two were blasted by a frigate in the first combat use of the Israeli Navy’s Barak-8 missile system.

Hezbollah claimed that the drones were merely on a reconnaissance mission and deemed their effort successful.

In the Monday interview, Nasrallah criticized the inaction of the country’s government, even though his own political party is a member.

“The Lebanese state is incapable of making the right decision that would protect Lebanon and its riches, therefore the resistance must take this decision,” he said.

Nasrallah put the onus on Jerusalem to prevent hostilities over the dispute, saying, “No one wants war, and the decision is in Israel’s hands, not in our hands.”

A week ago, in a seeming show of sovereignty, Prime Minister Yair Lapid flew over the Karish natural gas platform in a helicopter and was briefed by officials over its operations.

“Israel’s natural gas reserves have the potential to contribute toward a solution for the global energy crisis,” he said afterward. “Lebanon could also benefit from developing the reserves in its economic waters, through negotiations, which should be concluded forthwith.”