Lebanon’s Hezbollah said Saturday it had launched three drones towards an offshore gas field in the Mediterranean, after Israel’s army said it had intercepted drones belonging to the Iran-backed movement.
“On Saturday afternoon, three unarmed drones were launched towards the disputed Karish field for reconnaissance missions,” the Shiite group said in a statement.
“The mission was accomplished,” it added, without mentioning any Israeli interception.
The launch of the aircraft appeared to be an attempt by Hezbollah to influence US-brokered negotiations between Israel and Lebanon over their maritime border, an area that is rich in natural gas.
In a statement, the Israeli army said the aircraft were spotted early on and did not pose an “imminent threat.” Nonetheless, the incident drew a stern warning from Israel’s caretaker prime minister, Yair Lapid.
“I stand before you at this moment and say to everyone seeking our demise, from Gaza to Tehran, from the shores of Lebanon to Syria: Don’t test us,” Lapid said in his first address to the nation since taking office on Friday. “Israel knows how to use its strength against every threat, against every enemy.”