Israel’s military is preparing against a potential attack from Hezbollah on a Energean gas rig near the Mediterranean coast, according to Israeli media.
Israeli navy vessels are expected to help protect the platform that is involved in a disputed zone between Israel and Lebanon. The new gas rig arrived on Sunday to drill for gas in the coming months.
Lebanon President Michael Aoun warned Israel against action in the disputed maritime area as both nations seek to develop offshore energy resources.
“Any action or activity in the disputed area represents a provocation and a hostile act,” Aoun’s office reportedly stated.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah also addressed the conflict in a recent speech reported by the Jewish Press.
“I say to the Lebanese state and to the Lebanese people that you have courageous, powerful and capable resistance force which can say to the enemy—that is working day and night to drill and extract oil and gas from the disputed areas—that if you prevent Lebanon from doing this, we will respond in kind,” he said.
“The path of negotiations, and especially via the conspiring, collaborating and dishonest American broker who supports Israel, will not lead us to any results,” Nasrallah added.
The Times of Israel noted the concerns related to the territorial dispute.
“The Hezbollah terror group has warned Israel against unilaterally searching for natural gas in the disputed maritime region before any agreement is reached. The negotiations are meant to focus on an 860-square-kilometer (330-square-mile) disputed sea area according to a map registered with the United Nations in 2011,” the outlet reported.
The U.S. has been seeking to mediate an agreement between the two nations, but Lebanon has reportedly been reluctant to meet regarding the matter.