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Hezbollah allegations about offshore gas reservoirs increase alertnessIsrael is taking “Special” steps after the Hezbollah in Lebanon has again claimed that “Israel has stolen the undersea gas from a zone that is part of Lebanon”.

According to Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Musawi, Israel has been searching for oil and gas in what he reffered to as “Lebanon’s offshore oil and gas reserves.” He was quoted in the Daily Star.

Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Musawi warned Sunday, days after Parliament Speaker Nabih Berrimade a similar statement.

“The Israeli enemy had started drilling for oil more than seven years ago,” the MP said in a statement released Sunday.

Musawi said that Israel has been violating 860 square kilometers of “Lebanon’s exclusive economic zone,” noting that the violation has yet to receive a governmental response that would allow Lebanon to reclaim the area.

Israel believes it has a claim over the area, while the main mission of protecting this valuable natural resource is on the shoulders of the Israeli Navy and Air Force.

While the navy is still trying to get the needed equipment for this special job the Israeli Air force (IAF) is performing the job using some types of platforms.

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The IAF is operating a variety of systems to protect this new potential target for terror organizations and armies.

The Tamar production platform reaches a height of about 290 meters, and its weight – including the rig’s legs – amounts to some 34,000 tons.

The Tamar production rig is located approximately 90 kilometers west of Haifa. A 150-kilometer-long pipeline of approximately 45 centimeters in diameter connects the rig to the Ashdod reception facility.

While the Israeli navy is responsible for the protection of the gas facilities, the IAF is performing the missions that are aimed at detecting any sign for a hostile action targeting the rig and related facilities.

Unmanned air systems (UAS) are playing a major role in this operation, with the Israel aerospace industries (IAI) Heron-1 (Shoval) in maritime patrol version patrolling the area. Navy personnel are operating the control station of this system on shore.

It is expected that the number of Heron-1 in maritime patrol missions will grow and in parallel, other platforms will join to enhance capabilities.

In recent months a special effort was made to improve the dedicated sensors carried by the UAS. These are currently special versions of the Elta maritime radar and optical sensors. An Israeli source said that other sensors will be needed like SAR radars and GMTI radars.

Arie Egozi i-HLS Editor-in-Chief
Arie Egozi
i-HLS Editor-in-Chief