Hamas military forces have tried to target the #Israel gas extraction platform east of the #Mediterranean with an unmanned submarine.
The Israeli military says it has responded to the attacks and that the platforms have not been damaged
Israel has several gas installations and the Tamar gas field’s production platform stands just 25 kilometers off the coast of southern Israel.In May 2019 during another violent round which saw Hamas and PIJ launch 690 rockets and mortars towards Israel over the span of less than 48 hours, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz ordered the suspension of natural gas supplies from the Tamar field over concerns that it could be the latest round of fighting, which broke out on Monday after Hamas fired several rockets towards Jerusalem, has seen the terror group try to attack the country’s gas installations, strategic assets for Israel, with both rockets and suicide drones.While the rockets did not need to be intercepted as they were not close to striking the platforms, an Israel Air Force F-16 downed a drone at the beginning of the operation.According to a senior military official, only one out of tens of thousands of rockets fired towards such an installation would be able to hit it. Nevertheless, should the terror group succeed in hitting one, that would be viewed as a major achievement.Israel is highly dependent on the sea with over 90% of Israel’s imports arriving via the Mediterranean. And while the country’s navy is relatively small compared to other IDF corps, it has a significant amount of territory to protect.Since Operation Protective Edge in 2014 both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have significantly expanded their naval units, building an arsenal to include naval commandos, jet skis, autonomous submarines, explosive commando ships, precision drones and more.In the latest round of fighting, the Israeli Navy has carried out dozens of attacks against targets belonging to Hamas and PIJ, including the targeted killings of three senior operatives in the Hamas’s frogmen unit, destroyed eight warehouses that contained naval weaponry, ten Hamas naval posts, 22 ships belonging to the groups’ naval forces, and more.“The most significant thing, as in any IDF corps, is the denial of capabilities and a strong defense,” says Navy Commander Maj.-Gen. Eli Sharvit. “That is why we attacked outposts, ships, weapons depots, infrastructure and operatives. We worked to ensure that the naval units of Hamas and PIJ have been under pressure.”