Fear of Hezbollah drives 'Israel' out of contested area: Israeli media
Israeli media reports that, in light of "the threats from Hezbollah, Israel issues an official statement announcing that the Karish platform would not pump gas from the contested area with Lebanon."
The Israeli occupation affirmed that the Karish rig would not pump oil out of the contested area with Lebanon, Israeli media said Wednesday, attributing the reversal to "threats from Hezbollah."
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Security Minister Benny Gantz, and Energy Minister Karine Elharrar issued a joint statement assuring that the rig would not pump out oil from the contested area, as quoted by Israeli media.
"The three ministers officially touched on the Karish rig issue for the first time, stressing that [the rig] aims to locate energy resources and natural gas in the Israeli economic zone," Israeli media said.
The statement also said that the Israeli occupation was "prepared to defend" the site against any "threat".
"We call on the state of Lebanon to accelerate negotiations on the maritime border," the statement added while highlighting the importance of locating gas-based energy sources.
"In light of the threats from Hezbollah, the [three] ministers clarify: the Karish rig is located in Israeli territories," Israeli media underlined.
Israeli media reported Monday that the IOF was anticipating Hezbollah's possible response to the placement of the new Energean platform in the Karish field, a contested maritime zone, to extract gas.
On Sunday, the new rig was installed, at a distance of 80km away from Haifa, by the British-Greek exploration company Energen.
Israeli government-funded KAN TV channel said that these preparations come in light of the Lebanese warnings against any Israeli "aggressive action" in the disputed waters.
The Israeli occupation navy is preparing to secure the area by means of naval vessels situated both above and below the surface of the sea, including submarines. The IOF also pointed out that they are "working to transfer the Iron Dome system in its naval version to the region."