Israel announces military exercises on the border with Lebanon

The Israeli Army announced Sunday three-day military exercises along the Lebanese border in the context of tensions with Lebanon over the Karish oil fields and the delimitation of the maritime border.

“The exercise was planned in advance as part of the 2022 training program,” the Israel Defense Forces have explained, warning that, because of this, explosions will be heard in the area until Tuesday, when the drill will end, according to a statement posted on its official Twitter profile.

Israel and Lebanon, which are technically at war and do not maintain diplomatic relations, began in October 2020 a process of indirect talks mediated by the United States and held under the auspices of the United Nations at the headquarters of the international body in the Lebanese city of Naqura.

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The negotiations revolve around an area of 860 square kilometers which, according to both countries, lie in their respective Exclusive Economic Zones, an issue of particular importance following the discovery of gas reserves in this area which both Israel and Lebanon hope to exploit.

Israel’s army chief, Aviv Kohavi, warned in June that he could “strike” Lebanon “with immense power” should a new war break out in the face of rising tensions with the Lebanese Shiite militia-party Hezbollah, an ally of Iran.

Indeed, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah earlier stressed that Lebanese authorities must “prevent” Israel from extracting gas and oil from the Karish field and assured that the group “will not stand idly by in the face of the plundering of natural resources” in Lebanon.

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