The Israeli army has reportedly deployed air missile systems in Tel Aviv and Haifa following a warning by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, that the resistance is “not afraid of war.”

According to a report published by Lebanon’s al-Akhbar newspaper on Saturday, the Israeli military was put on alert immediately after Nasrallah’s speech to counter any surprise attacks.

This is while Israeli officials had not taken seriously the warnings coming from Lebanese officials against the Tel Aviv regime’s gas extraction from the Karish Gasfield in Lebanon’s territorial waters, the paper said, according to Al-Alam news network.

Nasrallah said on Thursday that the resistance “cannot stay silent in the face of plunder of Lebanon’s resources.”

“The resistance’s essential duty is to protect Lebanon’s land, waters, oil, gas, and dignity,” Nasrallah said, adding, “All options are on the table for the resistance.”

The remarks came after a vessel operated by a Greek company arrived at the Karish Gasfield in Lebanon’s territorial waters to extract gas for the occupying regime.

Nasrallah warned that the Greek company, called Energean, “is a partner in this attack on Lebanon,” for which it will face “consequences.”

The Hezbollah chief also pointed out that it was not the international regulations but actually “pressure, war of attrition, and resistance” that forced the occupying regime to retreat from southern Lebanon and the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip.

Lebanon fought off two Israeli wars in 2000 and 2006. On both occasions, battleground contributions by Hezbollah proved an indispensable asset, forcing the Israeli military into a retreat.

Responding to Nasrallah’s remarks, Israeli finance minister Avigdor Lieberman said “no one will dictate whether or not we drill for gas” in what he called Israel’s “economic waters.”

The Israeli military released a report last Sunday, saying it is preparing for a Hezbollah attack on the gas rig and is planning to deploy naval forces to the site, including a naval-adapted form of the Iron Dome missile system.

The maritime row between Lebanon and Israel is over an area in the Mediterranean Sea spanning about 860 square kilometers. Block No. 9 is rich in oil and gas. Israel relies heavily on gas and has long been developing a number of occupied offshore gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea.

Lebanese politicians hope that commercially viable hydrocarbon resources off Lebanon’s coast could help lift the debt-ridden country out of its worst economic crisis in decades.

Lebanon and Israel took part in indirect talks to discuss demarcation in 2020. But the talks stalled after Lebanon demanded a larger area, including part of the Karish gas field, where Israel has given exploration rights to a Greek firm.

The talks were supposed to discuss a Lebanese demand for 860 sq km (330 square miles) of territory in the disputed maritime area, according to a map sent to the United Nations in 2011. However, Lebanon then said the map was based on erroneous calculations and demanded 1,430 square kilometers (552 square miles) more further south, including part of Karish.

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