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October 9, 2022 11:00 am

Israel’s Defense Minister Greenlights Karish Gas Rig Testing

avatar by i24 News

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks at Reichman University on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Ariel Hermoni / IMoD

i24 NewsIsrael’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz has given the greenlight to Energean to start testing the Karish gas rig amid stalled maritime border deal negotiations.

The oil and gas company started testing pipes between Israel and Karish on Sunday.

Speaking to Israeli media over the weekend, Gantz was still optimistic the US-brokered deal between Israel and Lebanon was still on the table and could be struck within days.

He also warned Hezbollah against attacking Israel, saying that if the Lebanese-based terrorist group makes a move, Israel will “destroy Lebanon.” Last Thursday, Gantz ordered the defense establishment to prepare for increasing tensions at the northern border as talks falter over the maritime border agreement.

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Hezbollah has warned Israel against putting the Karish gas field in service. Former US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker told i24NEWS in a recent interview that the terrorist group is “digging in” along the Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon.

On Saturday evening, Gantz invited the head of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu, for a briefing on the deal at Defense Ministry headquarters.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to put pressure on Lebanon to give up the new demands and accept the original draft.

Netanyahu warned the deal is bad for Israel and that the current government has caved to all of Lebanon’s demands.

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