Hezbullah threatens Israel over maritime borders

July 14, 2011
…Naim Qassem…

…Hezbollah on Wednesday issued a stark warning to Jerusalem, vowing to protect its maritime rights against “Israeli threats.” Lebanon has a real interest in developing potential fields and a possible confrontation with Israel will not assist in obtaining the energy independence it is seeking. Analyzing Lebanese declarations, it is clear that the Lebanese have chosen first to seek a diplomatic solution either through the UN apparatus or through international courts and bodies of arbitration that specialized in those disputes. It comes as no surprise, however, that the sudden interest in the potential fossil-fuel wealth off the Israeli and Lebanese coastlines has turned the Mediterranean into a potential theater of confrontation between Israel and Hizbullah. The Lebanese group already boasts an amphibious warfare unit trained in underwater sabotage and coastal infiltration. Hizbullah’s ability to target shipping – and possibly offshore oil and gas platforms – was exposed in the war with Israel in 2006 when Hizbullah came close to sinking an Israeli missile boat with an Iranian version of the Chinese C-802 missile. Hizbullah fighters have since hinted that they have acquired larger anti-ship missiles with double the 72-mile (116 km.) range of the C-802 variant.