By Arie Egozi
4 February 2019
TEL AVIV: With over 80 percent of Israeli’s commerce carried by sea and its offshore gas fields crucial to the economy, the country is boosting spending on protecting its shipping lanes, littorals and ports with an array of weapons including underwater capabilities, heavily armed patrol boats and new submarines.
Hezbollah sees the large natural gas reservoirs and the rigs that probe them in the Mediterranean as potential targets and this puts heavy pressure on the Israeli navy to safeguard them.
David Ben–Bassat, former commander of the Israeli navy, told Breaking Defense that after Israel declared its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the maritime arena became very important and very complicated. “The navy’s task is to protect the Israeli interests in the EEZ. The protection is being performed now by the Israeli navy’s Sa’ar 5 missile boats, by autonomous boats carrying weapon stations and by UAS [drones]patrolling the EEZ to try and detect any developing hostility.”READ MORE