Lebanon’s Hezbollah announced on Saturday that it had launched three unarmed drones toward an Israeli gas facility in the Mediterranean, which the Israeli military said it had intercepted.
The drones flown towards the Karish gas field, in waters claimed by both nations, were on a reconnaissance mission, according to the Iranian-backed Shi’ite armed organization. “The message has been delivered,” it stated.
The event occurred amid tensions over the site of the Israeli rig and long-standing but so far failed U.S.-mediated efforts to agree on a maritime boundary.
Hezbollah, according to Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, is “preventing the state of Lebanon from reaching an agreement about maritime borders, which are essential to the Lebanese economy and prosperity.”
According to the Israeli military, its troops intercepted “three hostile UAVs that entered the airspace above Israel’s economic seas.”
According to an Israeli security source, the drones were also unarmed. The interceptions on Saturday marked the first time an air defense system placed aboard an Israeli naval ship has downed an incoming target, according to the military.