Senior "Israel" Occupation Forces officers said on Monday Hezbollah has the capability to attack the "Israeli"-occupied Palestinian offshore natural gas platforms, having acquired the armaments such as rockets to do so.
Nevertheless, one officer told Haaretz, "Our intelligence assessment is that even if Hezbollah currently has this capability, we don't see it taking such an extreme step just to create a provocation. The other side also understands that hitting the gas platforms is the declaration of a third Lebanon war."
In July 2011, in a speech marking the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened the "Israeli" entity's offshore gas platforms. The organization, which doesn't recognize the entity's existence, claims the platforms lie in Lebanon's exclusive economic zone rather than the entity's.
"Lebanon is capable of defending its gas and oil resources, and anyone who lays a hand on its assets, we'll know how to treat him," Sayyed Nasrallah said.
His deputy, Sheikh Naim Qassem, has made similar remarks. "It's Lebanon's right to exercise its sovereignty and control over natural resources and gas fields discovered in Lebanon's waters, and therefore, the Resistance is responsible for using all means to assist this," Sheikh Qassem said.
Source in the "Israeli" army said the threats that Hezbollah started making in 2010 include Hezbollah's abilities to attack "Israeli"-occupied Palestinian gas platforms. "It's not just declarations but rather capabilities, mainly missiles, aimed at attacking the platforms," one military official said.
Since then, the "Israeli" regime had tasked the IOF with defending the gas platforms. To do so, the navy plans to acquire four Sa'ar-6 missile boats in 2019. The ships will be equipped with anti-missile systems and other capabilities to deal with potential threats.
But given the intelligence assessment that Hezbollah already has the ability to attack the gas platforms, the IOF concluded that it couldn't afford to wait for those ships to arrive. Thus last month, it announced that an Iron Dome anti-missile system had been successfully installed on a Sa'ar-5 gunship and was now operational.
"Hezbollah has identified the potential of the sea," wrote Vice Admiral Eli Sharvit, commander of the "Israeli" navy, in a recently published article. "Therefore, it worked to build a significant offensive missile system that can be defined as a strategic offensive system in every respect. Hezbollah effectively built the best missile ship in the world. It has many missiles, and it can't be sunk."
Source: Haaretz, Edited by website team