• irvsafdieh

Sabra Express | Maritime Madness

Israel Rejects Lebanese Changes to Maritime Border Proposal, Putting Deal in Doubt

Lazar Berman, Times of Israel, October 6th 2022


Recap:

A proposal to split a gas-rich, 330-square-mile disputed area of the Mediterranean Sea between Israel and Lebanon is on life support.


The Context:

· The area in question borders the coastline of Israel and Lebanon. The US brokered proposal would allow Lebanon to explore and exploit gas reserves in the Gana field while allowing Israel to continue doing so in its Karish field [1].

· Iran-backed Hezbollah signaled tacit approval of the deal, calling it "a very important step." Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, is the kingmaker in Lebanese politics, making its blessing a necessity [2]. Hezbollah fought a war with Israel in 2006 and remains committed to Israel’s destruction.

· Despite Israel’s initial positivity, the deal stalled following Knesset deliberations. Ex-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues the proposal could benefit Hezbollah and hinted he would overturn it if re-elected in November [3].

· Lebanon is suffering from one of the world’s worst financial crises, with violence and protests occurring throughout the country as basic services collapse. In late September, Lebanese banks closed after customers staged armed robberies to get their cash out [4]. Although a deal would mark a step forward for Lebanon, it remains to be seen whether commercially viable reservoirs will be found and if Lebanon can become a gas or oil producing country.


Conversation Points:

· Would development of the Gana field reduce Lebanese dependency on Iran and ultimately bring political stability to Lebanon?

· Should Israel approve a deal if there’s anyway Hezbollah would benefit?

· Would Hezbollah agree to a deal if the Lebanese economy was not in distress?


Notes:

1. Lebanon-Israel maritime talks still all at sea, NEVILLE TELLER, Jerusalem Post, SEPTEMBER 28th, 2022

2. Ibid

3. Israel upbeat on draft Lebanese demarcation deal, sees gas profit-sharing, Dan Williams, Reuters, October 2nd, 2022

4. Lebanon’s banks to close ‘indefinitely’ after heists by angry depositors Raya Jalabi and Andrew England in London SEPTEMBER 21, 2022


0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Israel Taking Part in US-Led Ukraine Defense Summit Anna Ahronheim, Jerusalem Post, April 26th, 2022 Recap: Israel will attend a summit alongside 42 countries to discuss arming Ukraine in its fight ag

US State Department Vows to Oppose BDS After Ben & Jerry’s Settlement Pullout Times of Israel, July 21st 2021 Recap: Israel ramps up pressure on Unilever, Ben and Jerry’s parent company, following its

In Harris, Biden Chooses A Traditionally Pro-Israel Dem As His Veep Candidate Eric Cortellessa, Times of Israel, August 12th 2020 Recap: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden chose California Se