Hezbollah and Hamas have the capabilities to threaten Israeli naval sites which are becoming increasingly crowded with highly lucrative natural gas fields and shipping lanes, a senior Israeli Navy official warned.
The senior officer, who was speaking on condition of anonymity on Monday, said the Israeli navy operates under the assumption that Hezbollah has access to the Russian-made Yakhont shore-to-sea guided missiles, Israeli media reported.
According to the official, Hamas is less able to acquire advanced weapons due to the Israeli and Egyptian blockades on the Gaza Strip, but is nevertheless believed to have access to two varieties of shore-to-sea missiles: the Chinese C-802 and C-704, according to “The Times of Israel”.
Both groups are also believed to be developing naval capabilities, including autonomous submersibles, suicide drones and scuba-diving commando units, Israeli naval officials have said.
Some of those weapons have already been deployed against the Zionist regime in combat, by Hezbollah in the 2006 JulyWar and by Hamas in the 2014 Gaza war.
Hezbollah succeeded in severely damaging the navy’s INS Hanit with a shore-to-sea missile in the 2006 war, and Hamas made use of a naval commando unit in a daring — though ultimately ineffectual — coastal attack at Zikim Beach in 2014, the Israeli daily said.
The senior officer noted that the occupation military has been investing heavily in the navy, upgrading systems and better integrating it into the rest of the Israeli forces in a bid to counter those threats, as the country’s gas fields and shipping lanes grow more and more important.