Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has confirmed that the drones Hezbollah launched toward the Karish gas rig last week were Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
In a briefing to military reporters on Thursday, Gantz said “that Hezbollah carries out missions for Iran, and its weapons are weapons made in Iran whether it is manufactured there or the knowledge acquired by them.”
“The State of Israel knows how to protect its assets well, and Hezbollah must understand that the mission it is carrying out on behalf of Iran could become a deadly mission that will first and foremost harm the interests of Lebanese citizens,” he added
On Saturday Israel intercepted three Hezbollah drones launched toward one its Mediterranean gas rig Karish. After Saturday’s incident, parts of the drones were retrieved and taken for examination.
Hezbollah confirmed it launched the drones after its chief Hassan Nasrallah threatened Israel after a new drilling platform arrived at the gas field a month ago.
The gas field near Lebanon's coast -- which sits in a maritime area claimed by both Lebanon and Israel -- will produce gas not only for Israel, but eventually also for the European Union, tapping into EU countries' quest to replace Russia as an energy supplier since it invaded Ukraine.
He also vowed to increase funding and accelerate development of a laser air defense system, set to be showcased for US President Joe Biden during his trip next week. Israel reportedly intends to ask Biden to approve the delivery of the system to Arab countries aligned against Iran, including Saudi Arabia.