By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News -
Israel’s former naval chief said Wednesday in a radio interview that Israel could have assassinated Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah several times, but chose not to.
“I don’t want to get into details,” Vice Admiral (res.) Eliezer Marom said on Galei Yisrael, “but we had more than one opportunity over the years to get Nasrallah, and we decided not to do it.”
However, considering that “he has put a gun on the table and threatens the State of Israel and its sovereignty,” he continued, he was of the opinion that “Israel needs to say clearly to Nasrallah, ‘If you threaten the gas fields and, God forbid, dare to carry out some missile attack or anything, we will respond severely… and we will hit you, too, the moment that we will be able to.”
The head of the Lebanon-based terrorist organization “is not in his bunker all the time,” Marom pointed out. “There are opportunities, and they can become operational if we so desire.”
Marom was speaking in context of Nasrallah’s repeated threats to attack Israel if it begins pumping natural gas from the offshore Karish field off the country’s northern coast.
The technical preparations are almost complete, and Jerusalem has declared that nothing will stop it from actualizing its right to extract its own natural resources from the sea.
Marom, who headed Israel’s navy from 2007-2011, believed that telling Nasrallah that he could be eliminated by Israeli forces would “discourage him to some extent.”
On the other hand, when asked if Hezbollah could carry out “provocations” he answered, “It’s hard to know what to expect with Hezbollah,” noting that when the internationally recognized land border between Israel and Lebanon was set in the early 2000s, the group claimed a portion of Israeli land called the Sheba Farms in order to maintain the conflict.
Turning to the maritime border negotiations between the two countries that are reportedly in their final stages, Marom said he is in favor of signing an agreement with Beirut.
This is despite the fact that Hezbollah is officially part of the Lebanese government, and as late as last week, Nasrallah had made it clear yet again that “we are not part of the negotiations.”
An agreement would allow Lebanon to develop a natural gas field called Kana that is in the disputed zone.
Israel is reportedly going to give up any claim to it, in exchange for Lebanese recognition that Karish is totally within Israel’s maritime boundaries.
Marom said he is even “in favor of even temporarily giving Lebanon some of the gas from the Karish field, because we have no quarrel with the people of Lebanon and they are in the midst of an energy crisis.”
With no end in sight to an economic crisis that became acute some three long years ago, Lebanese citizens currently make do with having electricity only a few hours a day.
Image: Khamenei.ir, CC BY 4.0 <;, via Wikimedia Commons