The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah released a video on Sunday morning threatening gas extraction infrastructure at an Israeli offshore field, near a disputed maritime border between the countries.
Hezbollah has recently stepped up its rhetoric and actions over the border dispute, after Israel moved a natural gas drilling vessel to its Karish field, which Lebanon says is a disputed area. In its boldest move, Hezbollah sent four drones to the Karish platform several weeks ago, all of which were intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces.
Sunday’s video opens with a text titled “Playing with time is useless,” in Hebrew and Arabic.
Images and coordinates of the Arendal Spirit platform, Energean’s floating production system and Stena’s Icemax drill are shown between clips of an apparent naval missile system being prepared.
Some clips of the gas extraction sites are dated July 30.
“Within range,” reads the end of the video.
Israel and Lebanon, which do not have diplomatic relations, have engaged in US-mediated indirect talks over rights to the Karish gas field and to delineate a disputed maritime border between the two countries.
Earlier this month, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned that the drones sent to the Karish field were “just the beginning” and that his group would go to war over the land.
Some Lebanese leaders have criticized the terror group for launching the drones, saying it was an unnecessarily risky action.
Read more: Hezbollah hints it’s ready for a gas war, but knows Lebanon can’t afford it
Lebanon’s financial situation, spiraling out of control since 2019, has been called by the World Bank one of the world’s worst economic crises since the 1850s. Meanwhile, the country is facing major political chaos, exacerbated by the deadly explosion at the port of Beirut in 2020.
Israeli leaders countered that the country’s military would act against any threat and called on Lebanon to strike a deal so it can start extracting gas and pull itself out of its current economic slump. Israel has also issued stern warnings to Hezbollah through diplomatic and military channels.
Israel maintains sovereignty over the Karish gas field and seeks to develop it as it tries to position itself as a supplier of natural gas to Europe.
On Friday, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said he was more optimistic than ever about the negotiations. On Sunday, US energy envoy Amos Hochstein returned to Lebanon for talks.