NEWS DESK | Israel’s navy just wrapped up maritime exercises to defend one of the country’s most vital economic assets — the Leviathan gas field platform. Could Hezbollah pose a serious threat to its existence, though? Our Daniel Tsemach has the story.
The IDF navy just wrapped up its most complicated exercise in nearly 20 years.
They’re simulating an enemy attack on highly coveted natural gas fields — the Israeli navy — an exercise including missiles fired from four ships simultaneously at an old cargo freighter acting as an enemy vessel.
‘This type of exercise is crucial to the next mission — in the IDF, in between military campaigns, and of course in the next war as well,’ explains navy drill commander Boris Schuster.
Israel’s strategic waters and assets are of crucial importance to the country’s economy and to the citizens’ personal security.
Terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah have threatened to strike the platforms in the past and have even attempted to. The Israeli military has said it knows both groups are trying to improve their capabilities in order to strike them.
Nevertheless, Israel is moving forward with its largest energy project in history. The same day the drill came to a close, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at a newly inaugurated platform.
‘Completion of the Leviathan gas rig and gas flow from this field later this year is a critical component in Israel’s strategic strength, in its energy strength, its economic strength, its political strength,’ Netanyahu proclaimed as the opening ceremony.
But the process of utilizing the gas fields has not been simple. Israel has come under fire from its northern neighbor in Lebanon, where Hezbollah has its stronghold, who suggests the fields are in its territory.
Hezbollah has a weapons arsenal more advanced than that of the Gaza-ruling Hamas group, and thus, Israel fears that if Hezbollah uses the Russian-made Yakhont shore-to-sea guided missile, it could strike one of Israel’s most vital assets.
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