Gas rig (archive)
Gas rig (archive)Photo: Moshe Shai / Flash 90

Israel's new Karish natural gas rig is a "strategic asset" that is intended to be a vital contribution to the country's burgeoning green economy.

"The 'Karish' rig is a strategic asset of the State of Israel and is intended to extract the energy resources and natural gas in the State of Israel’s Economic Zone and to advance Israel’s “green economy," said a joint statement by Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid, and Minister of Energy Karine Elharrar.

"With its anchoring, the rig is located in Israeli territory, several kilometers south of the area over which negotiations are being conducted between the State of Israel and the State of Lebanon, mediated by the United States. The rig will not pump gas from the disputed territory."

The ministers added: "The State of Israel prioritizes the protection of its strategic assets, and is prepared to defend them and the security of its infrastructure, all in accordance with its rights."

Addressing Lebanon, they said: "At the same time, we call on the State of Lebanon to accelerate negotiations on the maritime border. Locating gas-based energy sources can greatly assist Lebanon’s economy and its citizens, and it is in the interest of the State of Lebanon to advance the dialogue on this matter. We hope that this will occur."