Beirut: Tel Aviv is reported to have sent an SOS to Washington urging it to finalize an agreement over its maritime border with Lebanon before the September deadline given by Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.
According to the military affairs correspondent of Israel's Channel 12, Nir Dvory, Tel Aviv is pressuring the US to finalize an agreement over their maritime border with Lebanon before the September deadline given by Hezbollah.
Referring to the US-mediated talks between Lebanon and Israel as "stuck," Dvory also highlighted that Tel Aviv is carrying out "a very large protection operation" in the vicinity of the Karish gas field.
The news comes less than a week after reports surfaced claiming interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid told US mediator Amos Hochstein that he hopes to reach a deal with Lebanon "as soon as possible," out of fear that Hezbollah will step up its operations against Israel.
US-mediated negotiations over Israel and Lebanon's shared maritime borders restarted last month, just as Tel Aviv deployed drilling and extraction vessels on the disputed waters.
On 26 July, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told reporters that the country retains a "high level of deterrence" against Lebanon and Hezbollah.
"If [Hezbollah] challenges us, we will take up the gauntlet and hurt them," Gantz said.
These comments came on the heels of a warning issued by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on 25 July, in which he told Israel that "all fields are under threat, not only Karish, and no Israeli target at sea or on land is out of reach of the resistance's precision missiles."
"When things reach a dead-end, we will not only stand in the face of Karish ... Mark these words: we will reach Karish, beyond Karish, and far, far beyond Karish," the resistance leader pledged.
Earlier in the month, Nasrallah gave Lebanese officials until September to secure the country's rights over their natural resources.
"If you don't give us the rights that our state is asking for ... then we could flip the table on everyone ... If you want to get to a point where this country is barred from taking advantage [of these fields], then no one will be allowed to extract gas or oil and no one will be able to sell gas or oil," Nasrallah said on 13 July.
In response, Israel has reportedly sent "strong warnings" to Hezbollah through diplomatic and military channels, saying that any action taken against the Karish field would "provoke a strong response" from Tel Aviv.