IDF foils attacks on offshore gas rig, eliminates top Hamas naval commander

Military stresses that rockets and suicide drones launched at the Tamar offshore gas installation over the past week never placed it in danger, but that it was nonetheless ordered to shut down.

Workers on the Israeli ‘Tamar’ gas processing rig 24 km off the Israeli southern coast of Ashkelon. Noble Energy and Delek are the main partners in the Tamar gas field, estimated to contain 10 trillion cubic feet of gas. June 23, 2014. Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90

By Lilach Shoval

(Israel Hayom via JNS) Cleared for publication: The Israeli military has thwarted several attempts by Hamas to target Israel’s Tamar offshore gas installation over the past week of fighting between the Jewish state and the terrorist group controlling the Gaza Strip

The IDF said that both rockets and suicide drones were used in these attempts, none of which ever posed an actual threat to the rig, which nonetheless was placed on alert and ordered to temporarily halt operations.

According to Channel 12, Tamar is protected by a ship-borne version of Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, among other measures.The military attributed the attacks to Hamas’s naval unit, adding it has destroyed most of the terrorist group’s naval infrastructure since Operation Guardian of the Walls was launched on May 10.

According to the IDF, the head of Hamas’ submarine development program was killed in an Israeli strike this week. An IDF official also told Israeli media that contrary to some reports, the military has not been able to confirm that the head of Hamas’ naval commando force has also been killed.

In the latest round of fighting, the navy has destroyed eight warehouses containing naval armaments, 10 Hamas naval posts, 22 ships belonging to the group’s naval forces and more.

Israeli Navy Commander Maj. Gen. Eli Sharvit said in a statement, “The most significant thing, as in all of the IDF, is denying [the enemy] capabilities and establishing a strong defense. Therefore, we have attacked bases, vessels, weapons warehouses, infrastructure and operatives.”

Hamas and PIJ have significantly expanded their naval units since “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014, investing in training naval commandos and procuring various vessels and drone systems, according to the military.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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