Speaking to reporters, Graham said:
“Any time you leave a meeting where the major request is ‘ammunition, ammunition, ammunition,’ that’s probably not good. This was the most unnerving trip I’ve had in a while.”
The threat that Hezbollah poses to Israel, Graham has learned, is due to Hezbollah’s growing arsenal of rockets.
“They’ve told us in no uncertain terms that if this threat continues — they keep making rockets that can hit the airport and do a lot of damage to the state of Israel — they are going to have to go in,” Graham added.
As we have come to learn, however, Israel has one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world, which continues to get upgraded. Israel also reportedly has a nuclear weapons stockpile of at least 200 nuclear weapons. So what could be the real threat Hezbollah poses if Israel is more than capable of defending itself from this non-state actor?
Could it be that in early February, Lebanon just signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production agreements in a potential undersea reserve currently disputed by Israel? Could it be that this agreement alone is so momentous that the U.S. actually sent its acting secretary of state, David Satterfield, on a “mediation mission” to both Israel and Lebanon?
“We made two things clear, in a very forthright manner, over the last year,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz reportedly said. “One, don’t provoke us, and don’t explore in or even get close to the disputed line-of-contact.”
“When they issue a tender on a gas field, including Block 9, which by any standard is ours … this is very, very challenging and provocative conduct here.” Israeli Defense Minister Avidor Lieberman also said when the contracts were first tendered.
Approximately a year ago, Israel attempted to secure its control over these disputed blocks by proposing a “maritime areas law” that would establish Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed area.
“I am quite confident that in the next year or two it will be resolved through some kind of dialogue or mediation,” Mr. Steinitz said at the time, even though Lebanon viewed this proposed law as an act of war.
Reportedly, Israel barely has enough energy resources of its own to maintain even 50 percent of its exports.
In July 2014, investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed’s claimed Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza at the time was rooted in a desire to control Palestinian gas (his blog was axed from the Guardian not long after). In 2000, there was a discovery of 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas off the Gaza coast, valued at $4 billion. We should begin to see some similarities between Israel’s infatuation with Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which involve claims of self-defense against rocket fire, only to conveniently have noticeable gas projects caught in the crossfire.
“Firstly, zoom out and consider Israel’s behaviour in regards to other territorial disputes with Lebanon, like the Shebaa farms, which they still occupy. Or maybe the Syrian Golan Heights. They do not have the incentive to leave, because nobody makes them do so, they can take areas whenever they like with impunity,” an unnamed Lebanese Ministry of National Defense official reportedly told Al Jazeera last year.
“The United States has also supported them in this and now they have the support of Trump. Secondly, we predict with certainty that there are approximately 865 million barrels of oil and 96 trillion cubic feet of gas in that area, this is something that Israel will fight tooth and nail for.”
Not too long ago, U.S. troops arrived in Israel for joint military exercises aimed at preparing to defend Israel from a Hezbollah rocket attack.
In September of last year, Israel also held its largest military drill in 20 years. It was specifically designed to simulate an invasion of Lebanon to combat Hezbollah.