First Published: 2011-08-10

 

Israel deploys drones over disputed offshore gas fields

 

Israel seeks to 'maintain a 24-hour presence' over gas fields that are said to be falling within Lebanese territorial waters.

 

Middle East Online

'The Israeli enemy cannot drill a single metre in these waters'

JERUSALEM - Israel has deployed drones to monitor disputed gas fields off its northern coast, the Jerusalem Post daily reported on Tuesday.

The fields lie in a part of the Mediterranean that is claimed by Israel for gas exploration and production, but Lebanon says the fields lie within its territorial waters.

"The decision to deploy drones was made in order to maintain a 24-hour presence over the site," the paper said, adding that the air force was equipped with the locally made Heron drone, which has special electro-optics designed for maritime work.

The Israeli military would not confirm or deny the Post report to AFP.

The paper said that the air force started aerial surveillance after a warning last month from Hezbollah.

"The Israeli enemy cannot drill a single metre in these waters to search for gas and oil if the zone is disputed... No company can carry out prospecting work in waters whose sovereignty is contested," the Shiite group said.

The Hezbollah threat came after Israel's cabinet approved a map of the country's proposed maritime borders with Lebanon and submitted it to the United Nations, which has been asked to mediate in the dispute.

The map conflicts with one submitted by Lebanon to the UN last year, which gives Israel less territory.

The two countries are technically at war and will not negotiate face to face.

The disputed zone consists of about 854 square kilometres (330 square miles).

The two biggest known offshore fields, Tamar and Leviathan, lie respectively about 80 kilometres (50 miles) and 130 kilometres (81 miles) off Israel's northern city of Haifa.

Tamar is believed to hold at least 8.4 trillion cubic feet of gas (238 billion cubic metres), while Leviathan is believed to have reserves of 16 trillion cubic feet (450 billion cubic metres).

 

Iraqi forces seize Kirkuk governor's office

New UN envoy in Rabat to restart talks on WSahara

Last days of Raqa battles ‘toughest fighting yet’

Mogadishu twin bomb death toll at 276

Lebanon promotes ‘back to public school’ drive

Divided Iraq tests limited US influence

Iraqi forces seize airport, oil field from Kurds

Saudi Arabia sets conditions to role in Syria reconstruction

In tougher approach, US offers multimillion-dollar reward for Hezbollah operatives

EU ministers join forces in support of Iran deal

Batteries, tape to thank for defeating jihadists in Raqa

Palestinian Authority top official visits Gaza

Israel strikes Syrian anti-aircraft battery in response to shots

Qatar starts to feel pinch from sanctions

Omani role has helped Iran but may not do much in crisis with US

Head of IS in Southeast Asia dead

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

US-backed forces announce ‘final phase’ of Raqa recapture

Suspicion of football corruption shows limits of Qatar’s ‘soft power’

Schools closed on first day of term in rebel-held Yemen

Iraqi forces in standoff with Kurds in oil-rich Kirkuk

Protests in southern Morocco over water shortages

Iran’s Zarif says Trump speech in violation of nuclear deal

In Egypt, illiteracy rates down but problem remains

ISIS regroups in Libya amid jihadist infighting

Egypt’s Nation’s Future Party seeks to build on youth vote

Qatar freezes assets of royal member over Gulf crisis

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terror cell

Syrian troops recapture city of Mayadeen from IS

Gulf countries voice support for Trump’s tough stance on Iran

Princess named to head Saudi sports federation

IS fighters surrender as defeat in Raqa nears

Former French culture minister picked to head UNESCO

Baghdad issues ultimatum to Kurds on Kirkuk

Trump tears into Iran, leaves nuclear deal hanging

Iranians respond with anger, mockery to Trump speech

Somalia's defense minister, army chief resign

EU says it must watch IS in North Africa 'very carefully'

NATO chief urges US, Turkey to 'find solutions' to row

Turkey deploys troops to Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Four jihadists killed in Mali

Hamas dilemma in Palestinian reconciliation

Baghdad launches Kirkuk operation amid bitter row with Kurds

Talks on Raqa civilian exit halted

Qatar, Egypt set for UNESCO standoff