TEL AVIV: A senior Israeli military official says the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement now has the capability to attack Israeli offshore natural gas platforms in the Mediterranean Sea in case of a future confrontation.
Israeli Hebrew-language Israel Hayom daily newspaper quoted the commander of the Israeli navy’s Haifa base, Brigadier General Gil Aginsky, as alleging on Friday that Israeli naval forces are ready to face off any potential threat, noting that the Tel Aviv regime currently “faces two challenges at two levels: One on the surface of the water and one beneath. We know how to deal with any complex and thorny scenario. In relation to what is under the surface of the water, we are getting prepared and acquiring weapons to confront this stiff challenge,” the London-based and pan-Arab al-Araby al-Jadeed media outlet reported.
Aginsky noted that Hezbollah is working on an undersea attack tunnel that crosses into the occupied territories.
“They are active in sea water…. They intend to prevent us from being here, and if they can, they will do it. Our job is to prevent such a thing. We maintain and cover the northern border wall,” he said.
Aginsky went on to say that the Israeli army has learned lessons from the Hezbollah anti-ship missile attack on INS Hanit corvette on July 14, 2006, during Israel’s 33-day war on Lebanon.
The Israeli naval commander highlighted that the vessel was struck 16 kilometers (9 miles) off the coast of the Lebanese capital Beirut, and that four Israeli marines were killed in the incident.
“The threat remains and is serious, but we monitor and guard gas platforms. If Hezbollah wants to do strategic damage, it will try to harm these platforms…,” Aginsky pointed out.
Back in February 2018, Hezbollah released a video that showed what appeared to be drilling platforms floating above Israeli gas fields with targeting sights superimposed on the images.
The video, aired by Israel’s Hadashot TV news at the time, also included quotes from Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speech, in which he warned that the group would retaliate against any Israeli strike on Lebanon by attacking Israel’s offshore platforms.
“If you attack, we will attack. If you bomb, we will bomb you…. I promise you, within hours [the platform] will cease operating,” Nasrallah said then.
Earlier that month, Hezbollah had released another video and issued pamphlets, warning the Israeli regime against operations in Lebanon’s exclusive economic maritime zones.
“Whoever harms gas and oil sites in Lebanese economic waters, their own sites will be harmed,” one pamphlet read.