Gantz accuses Iran of trying to buy Lebanon

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks during a ministry event in the northern city of Katzrin, September 21, 2022. (Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks during a ministry event in the northern city of Katzrin, September 21, 2022. (Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz says Iran is attempting to “buy” Lebanon by having it rely on Hezbollah for fuel and repairing the country’s failing power network.

“Iran, through Hezbollah, is trying to buy Lebanon by supplying fuel, repairing the electricity system and building power plants,” Gantz says at an event in the northern town of Katzrin.

“Lebanon’s energy dependence on Iran may eventually lead to the establishment of Iranian bases on Lebanese soil and the destabilization of the region,” he says, warning that Lebanese citizens “are the ones who will pay the price.”

Speaking on plans to begin extracting gas from the offshore Karish field — which has come under threat by Hezbollah in recent months — Gantz says Israel won’t bow to “impositions” by Iran or its terror proxies.

“This is [also] true regarding our freedom of action amid any threat to the citizens of Israel, that develops at the border and beyond it,” he says, referring to airstrikes in Syria and actions in Iran attributed to Israel.

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