Israeli UAV's Protect Gas Fields
August 9, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
JERUSALEM, Aug. 9 (UPI) — A number of unmanned aerial vehicles are conducting surveillance and reconnaissance missions over Israel’s gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea, officials said.
A decision to deploy the UAV’s is mainly out of concern Hezbollah may try to target the gas fields, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.
In July the cabinet approved the demarcation of Israel’s northern maritime border with Lebanon to combat Lebanon’s claims to offshore territories that Israel claims it owns, the newspaper said.
The move set the economic rights of the gas fields.
The army decided to deploy the drones and maintain a 24-hour presence over the gas field after Hezbollah deputy chief Naim Qassem recently warned it would protect Lebanon’s maritime sovereignty to “regain its full rights,” the paper said.
The Israel Navy has already drawn up operational plans to protect Israel’s offshore gas fields.
In June last year the Leviathan offshore gas field in the Mediterranean sea, roughly 81 miles west of Haifa, was discovered and described as one of the world’s largest offshore gas finds.
In 2009 the Tamar gas field, also in the Mediterranean some 50 miles west of Haifa, was discovered.