Finalization of maritime border deal between Israel and Lebanon in muddy waters
The deal will allow Lebanon to take control of the Qana gas field, while Israel gets control over the Karish gas field
By News Desk - October 04 2022

A drill ship of London-based Energean at the conflicted Karish gas field. 9 May 2022. (Photo source: Reuters).

The finalization of the maritime border deal between Lebanon and Israel remains contested on several key points, according to media reports on 3 October.

Al-Akhbar reported that Lebanon will not recognize Israel’s unilaterally placed buoy-marked boundary from the year 2000, which is located five kilometers off the coast of Rosh Hanikra in the northern part of the country, citing anonymous government officials.

Lebanon also asks for a reversal of the demand for a land border demarcation, and instead wants the issue to be handed over to the United Nations for future discussions.

“Lebanon firmly refuses any Israeli-controlled security zone, as it doesn’t recognize the so-called floating line,” the sources were quoted by Al-Akhbar as saying.

“Lebanon rejects linking the maritime borders with the land borders,” they added.

Map of the disputed maritime border between Lebanon and Israel.
(Photo Credit: The Cradle)

Additionally, Lebanon reportedly rejects the idea of a signing ceremony alongside Israeli officials in the Lebanese city of Naqoura and instead proposes the signing of the documents in separate rooms as both countries remain technically at war.

“Lebanon will rather sign a message that will be delivered by the head of Lebanese technical delegation to the UN representative during a meeting in Naqoura, in the presence of Hochstein,” according to the newspaper.

The talks between a senior Israeli official and French energy giant TotalEnergies in Paris on Monday have also raised the alarm bells in Beirut, as Israel is seeking compensation for the Qana offshore gas field directly from the company.

Al-Akhbar cited the sources, saying that “deals between Lebanon and foreign firms, including TotalEnergies, are linked by no means with their deals with the Zionist entity. The firms are committed to starting drilling and extraction in the Lebanese waters right after the deal.”

A senior official close to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that “Lapid will not compromise on the security and economic interests of Israel,” and that Israel awaits the response from Lebanon before deciding on how to move forward.

The US-mediated deal, which initially seemed to be agreed upon by both sides, was finalized by the Biden administration’s energy envoy Amos Hochstein and presented over the weekend.




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