Nasrallah Threatens Israel Again Over Karish Gas Field

Nasrallah Threatens Israel Again Over Karish Gas Field


Nasrallah Threatens Israel Again Over Karish Gas Field

Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah once again threatened Israel last Saturday during a speech over attempts to develop or extract hydrocarbon resources from the Karish field that is partly claimed by Lebanon. Nasrallah said Hezbollah’s “red line” was for Israel to begin extracting resources from the Karish field prior to the successful conclusion of negotiations, whereby Lebanon would also be enabled to extract oil and gas – which he called the country’s “only chance” at economic recovery.  

Nasrallah claimed Hezbollah sent the Israelis a clandestine message that problems would arise if Israel began extraction. “We cannot permit extraction of oil and gas from Karish to begin before Lebanon receives what rightfully belongs to it, and this is the concern of the Lebanese government.” He ended by saying that “our eyes and our missiles are [aimed] at Karish, and if confrontation is forced upon us, it will be completely unavoidable.” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz commented on Hezbollah’s threats, saying Israel would not have terms imposed upon it by Iran or its proxies. “This is [also] true regarding our freedom of action amid any threat to the citizens of Israel, that develops at the border, and beyond it,” he said, referring to airstrikes in Syria and actions in Iran attributed to Israel.  

Nasrallah also commented on the resumption of ties between Hamas and the Syrian regime, calling the Palestinian militant group’s decision a “very enlightened position,” and highlighted how Damascus had always been the “true pillar of support for Palestine and Jerusalem.” Nasrallah also said the current times required “all of the resistance’s factions to unite,” because “this axis is the only hope for Syrians, Lebanese, and Palestinians to protect their rights.”  

Nasrallah additionally addressed the increase in violence in the West Bank, stating that Palestinians had concluded that the path of negotiations would not benefit them, and that “their only choice is resistance.” Relatedly, a senior Israeli official – speaking on condition of anonymity – told the Washington Post this week that a significant number of arms into the West Bank have been flowing in from Hezbollah.  

Iran Ready to Supply Lebanon with 600,000 Tons of Fuel 

Iranian officials told a Lebanese technical delegation visiting Tehran on Tuesday that Iran could offer Lebanon 600,000 tons of fuel over five months to help ease its power shortages. A source from the energy ministry confirmed the amount and said the deal would likely be finalized the next day. "We sent a technical delegation to Tehran and they are studying the details," an energy ministry spokesperson told Reuters on Tuesday.  

Iran earlier this month offered Lebanon a “gift” of fuel in the specifications required to run Lebanese power plants, sources told Reuters, with no details on the type of fuel. On Monday, Iran's embassy in Beirut said the fuel ships could be in Lebanon within two weeks. While the fuel shipment has been billed as a “free” gift to Lebanon, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji gave remarks to local media suggesting that the shipments to Beirut will not be free and Lebanon may have to pay for them. Owji said on Thursday that Iran had received payments for its exports of fuel to Lebanon last year as he sought to deny reports that planned new shipments will be in the form of a donation. “We had exports of fuel to Lebanon last year and we were dully paid,” Owji was quoted as saying as he was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a petroleum fair in Tehran. Owji’s comments echo those of Hadi Beiginejad, a member of the Iranian parliament’s energy committee, who also said on Thursday that Iran would be properly financially compensated for fuel exports to Lebanon. “These reports that we provide this country [Lebanon] with free fuel are definitely untrue,” Beiginejad said.  

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Iran was attempting to “buy” Lebanon by having it rely on the Hezbollah terror group for fuel and repairing the country’s failing power network. “Iran, through Hezbollah, is trying to buy Lebanon by supplying fuel, repairing the electricity system and building power plants,” Gantz said at an event in the northern town of Katzrin. Gantz also predicted that Lebanon’s dependence on Iranian oil may “eventually lead to the establishment of Iranian bases on Lebanese soil and the destabilization of the region,” warning that Lebanon’s citizens “are the ones who will pay the price.”  

Israel and Palestinian Territories 

Israel Says Noticeable Increase in Iranian Cyber Attacks on Israeli Sites 

The IDF’s Cyber Defense Directorate has identified an increase of 70% in hostile Iranian activity over the past year. “In the past year, the IDF thwarted dozens of attempts by Iran to carry out cyberattacks,” said a senior IDF official on Wednesday. “The IDF and the defense community have developed groundbreaking capabilities to defend against our enemies.” According to assessments by the IDF’s C4I Corps, there are more than 20 Iranian cyber units, of which at least 10 operate against Israel. The IDF believes that one of Iran’s main goals when it comes to cyberattacks is to instill fear within Israeli society. Therefore, Iran primarily targets civilian sites that do not necessarily cause damage to the military, but cause panic among the public.  

Hamas Threatens “Religious War” Over Jewish Visits to the Temple Mount 

Hamas threatened a “religious war” against Israel over what it called “violations against Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque” ahead of the upcoming Jewish High Holidays. Hamas’s threats came just ahead of the Jewish New Year and a day after a group of Jewish activists visited the Temple Mount and blew the shofar — a ram’s horn that’s trumpeted in the run-up to and during the Jewish High Holidays. Addressing reporters in Gaza City, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar decries what he calls a “blatant attack on the religious and Islamic status of the city and the mosque,” saying Israel bears full responsibility for “the possibility of dragging the entire region into an open religious war.” He says the terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip, would “defend the rights and sanctities of our people by all possible means.”