Israel says downs 3 Hezbollah drones flying to gas field

Jul 03, 2022

Jerusalem (Israel), July 3: The Israeli military said it shot down on Saturday three Hezbollah drones flying toward one of the country's offshore gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea.
One of the drones was downed by an Israeli fighter jet, while the other two by missiles fired from a navy corvette, according to a statement by the Israel Defense Forces.
The drones were intercepted "at a safe distance from the (gas) platform," said the statement.
The drones were downed over a sea area claimed by both Lebanon and Israel, as the two neighbors have been in UN-sponsored negotiation in the past two years to determine their maritime border.
Hezbollah, an Iran-backed powerful Shiite political party and militant organization in Lebanon, has yet to respond to the Israeli allegations.
Israel has long claimed the Karish North field in the Mediterranean Sea as its own property, but Lebanon expanded its claim in territorial waters, which would include at least part of the gas field.
"Israel is prepared to defend its infrastructure against any threat," Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz tweeted in the evening, commenting on the downing of the three drones.
"Hezbollah undermines the ability of the Lebanese government to reach an agreement on the maritime border ... despite Israel's intentions to move forward in negotiations to resolve the issue," he added.
Source: Xinhua