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August 15
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The Lebanese Prime Minister called any unofficial deals risky and unacceptable due to a conflict on the maritime border with Israel after the influential Hezbollah movement sent three drones to an Israeli gas installation, which were shot down.

Hezbollah launched its operation on Saturday after long-standing but so far unsuccessful US-brokered attempts to negotiate a maritime border between the two countries near an area where Israel has discovered large natural gas deposits, Reuters reported.

Lebanon believes that any action that goes beyond the responsibility of the state and the diplomatic context in which the negotiations take place is unacceptable and exposes Lebanon to unnecessary risks, Prime Minister Designate Najib Mikati said in a statement.

The statement was made following a meeting between Mikati and Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib. The statement called for everyone without exception to support the Lebanese state in the negotiation process, which he said had reached an advanced stage.

Hezbollah said on Saturday that drones launched towards the Karish gas field in waters claimed by both countries had successfully carried out a reconnaissance mission.

The Israeli military said it had intercepted the drones, and this was the first time that an Israeli naval vessel had shot down an incoming target.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said after the incident that Hezbollah was preventing the State of Lebanon from reaching an agreement on maritime boundaries.

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