The Israeli navy military is preparing for a possible attack by Hizbullah on a new drilling platform in Karish, Israeli media reports said.
A report by Kan news said that navy vessels and a naval version of the Iron Dome missile defense system will arrive in the area to help protect the platform.
Another Israeli newspaper said Monday that the drilling platform that had arrived at the Karish site on Sunday is expected to become operational in the next few months.
Israel had assigned Energean to drill gas in the disputed Karish field. Karish contains 1.4 trillion cubic feet of proved and probable gas. The area around Karish is thought to also contain large hydrocarbon deposits.
The media reports quoted Bassam Yasin, the head of the Lebanese delegation to the negotiations, as saying that “the decision about a response (to the ship’s entry) is in the hands of the state and Hizbullah.”
Hizbullah had previously warned Israel against unilateral gas drilling in the disputed maritime region before any agreement is reached.
President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Najib Miqati condemned Monday the “hostile” and “provocative” Israeli activity and agreed to invite U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein to visit Beirut in order to resume the stalled negotiations over the maritime demarcation with Israel and to prevent any escalation.