During a security briefing on Sunday, Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke about getting ready for gas production at the Karish gas field off the Mediterranean coast. Benny Gantz, the defence minister, including other top security officials and energy experts, were present during the meeting with the PM.
According to Hebrew-language news reports, the main focus of the meeting was on the preparations for gas production at Karish natural gas field in light of the approaching holiday season and potential plan of defence against Hezbollah, should the terror group attempt to strike when gas production starts. This rhetoric has been reiterated once again during the speech of its leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday. The debilitating political, economic, and energy crises that Lebanon has been experiencing for over two years has resulted in unprecedented levels of poverty and allowed Hezbollah to expand its influence in the country.
According to Channel 13 news, a meeting of the high-level security cabinet might take place as soon as next week to finalise a deal with Lebanon regarding the contentious gas field. The Energy Ministry of Israel stated earlier this month that testing would be performed on the contested maritime field before it was connected to Israel’s gas network. In the meantime, the communication between the countries is ongoing, and both parties are reviewing drafts of an agreement that, in addition to establishing the maritime border, is intended to regulate the development of the Cana/Sidon field. A field that extends from Lebanon through the disputed territory deep into the territory of Israel. Despite tensions continuing to surround the offshore drilling rights negotiations with Lebanese officials, things appear to be moving forward.
According to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, indirect negotiations to settle a maritime border issue with Israel are in their “final stages.” On the other hand, the Israeli PM’s office declared that regardless of a compromise with Lebanon, Israel would proceed with extracting gas from Karish.