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Israel, Lebanon Agree On A “Historic” Maritime Border Deal

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Lebanon and Israel have demarcated a disputed maritime border between them in a historic agreement, Yair Lapid, Prime Minister of Israel, said. A deal between the two countries at war for decades would ease friction between them as well as open the way for offshore energy.

“This is a historic achievement that will strengthen Israel’s security, inject billions into Israel’s economy, and ensure the stability of our northern border,” Lapid said in a statement.

Before this, Lebanese President Michel said that the final draft’s terms, received from US envoy Amos Hochstein, convinced Lebanon. He said that he hoped for the deal to come to fruition soon.

A similar positive statement came from Israeli National Security Advisor Eyal Hulata. “All our demands are taken care of, and changes were made as per our demand. We protected Israel’s security interests and are on our way to a historic agreement,” he said.

Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, whose group has fought numerous wars with Israel, has repeatedly emphasized that a war could happen if the deal fails to accomodate Lebanon’s maritime rights.

Israeli production and export have advanced, while political bitterness hampered Lebanon’s attempts. In 2020, the nations began talks on their maritime border that failed repeatedly.

The Karish gas field, which Israel believed completely fell within its seas and was not a topic of negotiation, was a main source of contention. Lebanon claimed a portion of the field and Hezbollah threatened Israel with attacks if it began production on the field.

Undeterred by his threat, Israel announced the initiation of production at Karish immediately.

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