by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The Israel Defense Forces said Thursday it has launched a week-long program of military drills in the north of Israel following recent heightened tensions with northern neighbor Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports.
Israel’s relationship with Lebanon has been even more tense than usual recently, as the two countries have argued over the rights to offshore natural gas fields in the Mediterranean, TOI reports. However, after a year of US-brokered talks, both Israel and Lebanon last week reached a ‘historic’ agreement on the text of a final deal that offers benefits to both sides.
The IDF said the northern border drills had been previously planned; they are not a response to any new provocation, TOI said. The drills are expected to continue until next Thursday, and explosions may be heard, the IDF stated.
While Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said he is in favor of the new maritime natural deal, and Israel’s PM Yair Lapid has stated the agreement will “stave off” war with Hezbollah, TOI reports. Nevertheless, Nasrallah said his group will remain “alert” until the deal is signed. Likewise, the IDF is remaining alert on its border with Lebanon.
The IDF held an important three-day drill in southern Israel as well this week, TOI reports. The southern drill took place in the Negev desert, the Arava valley region and Eilat.