Lapid summons security officials to discuss Karish gas rig production

Although deal on maritime border dispute with Lebanon not finalized, both countries express optimism it is near; Washington and J'lm hope for signing before elections; PM discusses security preparedness before drilling date set
Itamar Eichner|
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, on Sunday convened a security consultation to discuss the launch of operations in the Karish gas rig off the coast of Israel.
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  • The consultations included Defense Minister Benny Gantz, senior security officials and energy professionals.
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    אסדת כריש
    אסדת כריש
    Karish gas rig
    (Photo: AFP )
    The purpose of the meeting was to ensure security when the Karish rig goes into production, although a final date has not been finalized and before an agreement in the Maritime border dispute with Lebanon is reached.
    The Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group has threatened to attack the rig, should gas drilling begin before a deal is finalized.
    Israel and Lebanon have said they were close to an agreement, mediated by the U.S. and have only a few details remaining, to settle. But despite the optimism, Israel was preparing for any scenario.
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    עמוס הוכשטיין
    עמוס הוכשטיין
    U.S. mediator in Israel Lebanon maritime border talks, Amos Hochstein
    (Photo: AFP)
    "Israel believes an agreement can and must be achieved in the interests of both countries," the government said in a statement last week.
    Officials in Jerusalem and Washington said they hoped the deal could be signed before the November elections, despite calls from Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, not to do so.
    The Likud leader claimed Lapid had folded in the face of Hezbollah's threats and was too afraid to begin drilling.
    "Now Lapid is preparing to hand over to Lebanon, Israeli territory and economic interests in the billions of dollars, without any oversight, and allow the profits to be used to arm Hezbollah with rockets," Netanyahu said.
    Lapid said Netanyahu's statement was a terrible lack of responsibility while a complicated negotiation was underway. "This is an assault on Israel's security and economic interests," Lapid said.
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