Hizballah drones intercepted before reaching Israel’s offshore Karish gas rig
Three Hizballah drones were shot down over the sea on Saturday, July 2 on their way from Lebanon to the Karish gas rig situated in Israel’s Mediterranean economic zone. The UAFs were hit by IDF Barak missiles, launched from an Israeli Air Force F-16 warplane, that took off from the Ramat David airbase, and for the first time from a Navy vessel.
The military spokesman reported that the UAVs targeted were unarmed and may have been testing Israel’s alertness or on a spying mission over Israel’s newest offshore gas platform. Interception took place a few short miles from the gas facility.
In a briefing to IDF chiefs, Defense Minister Benny Gantz accused Hizballah of an attempt to sabotage the US-brokered negotiations which are progressing toward agreement on a bilateral border separating the economic zones of Israel and Lebanon. This deal is essential for the Lebanese economy. Gantz stressed that such incidents can’t be ruled out in the future, but the IDF is fully prepared to foil any threats.
Early Saturday, Syria reported an unusual daytime Israeli air strike south of the Mediterranean port of Tartous. Its target is said to have been an Iranian arms shipment delivered at the port and on its way to Hizballah in Lebanon.
The IDF spokesman omitted referring to the possibility that the Hizballah drone mission was sparked by the latest Israeli air strike.