Lebanon-based Hezbollah issued a fresh threat against Israel on Monday amid U.S.-mediated indirect negotiations between Jerusalem and Beirut aimed at resolving a longstanding maritime border dispute.

According to a report by Lebanese news site Naharnet, the head of Hezbollah’s executive council, Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, stated: “We are close to defeating the Israelis by land and by sea if we want to, and we will decide when to do it.”

Speaking in the southern Lebanese town of Kfarkela, Safieddine qualified that while Hezbollah does not desire war with Israel, it is prepared for one.

“The more you put pressure on our country, the more our determination, strength and solidity will increase,” said Safieddine, according to the report. “We are ready on all fronts,” he added.

The executive council is responsible for the Iranian-backed terror organization’s civilian activities and is one of five bodies subordinate to Hezbollah’s Supreme Council, which is headed by Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah.

Earlier this month, Nasrallah issued threats against Israel in a televised speech that addressed the maritime border talks, which also touch on Beirut’s attempt to gain access to part of the Karish gas field off the Haifa coastline.

“The new equation is, Karish, what’s beyond Karish, and what’s beyond, beyond Karish,” he said.

“We’re following up on all gas fields across Palestine,” said Nasrallah. “If you don’t allow firms to extract gas, we’ll flip the table on the entire world. Going to war would be more honorable if the other choice is for the Lebanese to starve.”

On July 2, the Israel Defense Forces shot down three unmanned aerial vehicles approaching Israel’s Karish platform from Lebanon.

One of the UAVs was downed by an Israeli F-16 fighter jet, while the other two were intercepted by the INS Eilat missile corvette, according to the IDF. All three were shot down over the Mediterranean Sea, reported the IDF.

JNS

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