"For quite some time, we have been thinking about how to deal with the opening of the marine front westward to ranges that are almost double what we were used to control and operate in," says an Israel Navy commander of the missile corvettes' unit. The unit is responsible for protecting Israel's offshore natural gas fields, including Tamar and Leviathan, against which Hizbullah has made threats.
The Navy commander said that there are many challenges posed by the new situation, and that the Tamar and Leviathan wells are within Israel's economic zone, belying claims by Lebanon to the contrary. "The gas fields are located west of Rosh Hanikra (the Israeli-Lebanese border point on the Mediterranean). The claims by [Hizbullah general secretary Hassan] Nasrullah that the fields extend into Lebanese waters are not true, even under international law. These are the economic waters of Israel."
The Navy's high command is preparing an effective response to the new and multiplying threats against the gas fields, while enabling the companies operating in the area to function. "There is considerable activity in Israel's economic waters, ranging from surveys by rights' owners through the drilling of exploratory wells," said Navy chief of staff Rear Admiral Rani Ben-Yehuda. "There is a whole range of possible threats against each of these elements. There is no doubt that strategic infrastructures are included in rules of the threats game."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 8, 2011
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