US official says Hezbollah threats played no part in maritime negotiations

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Energean's floating production system (FPSO) at the Karish gas field in the Mediterranean Sea. (Energean)
Energean's floating production system (FPSO) at the Karish gas field in the Mediterranean Sea. (Energean)

A senior Biden administration official affirms Israel’s control over the Karish gas field in the eastern Mediterranean and dismisses previous threats made by Hezbollah that the terror group would attack Israel if the latter had begun natural gas extractions at the site before a maritime deal was reached.

Asked by The Times of Israel during a phone briefing whether the newly announced maritime deal between Israel and Lebanon took into account Hezbollah’s threats, the senior US official says, “Threats are not what drove these negotiations. What drove them was the need to secure the entire coast for Israel and to provide economic interests for Lebanon.

“In that context. The United States has always supported Israel’s right to develop Karish, and we are satisfied and happy that Lebanon will now be able to develop the [Qana field] as well as others,” the official adds.

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