Israel warms to drafting agreement on demarcation in Lebanon, sees profit sharing from gas According to Reuters

© Reuters. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, US, September 22, 2022. REUTERS / Mike Segar

By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel gave a preliminary nod on Sunday to a draft US-brokered deal delimiting its maritime border with Lebanon that could lead to Beirut being able to share in the profits from manufacturing. gas futures in a long-disputed Mediterranean scenario.

Hoping to defuse a source of conflict between rival nations and perhaps spur them on to accommodation, US special envoy Amos Hochstein last week submitted a new proposal paving the way for energy exploration beyond. sea.

Beirut is working on a 10-page manuscript, the details of which have not been made public. Iran-backed Hezbollah, which has been in conflict with Israel and has previously voiced doubts about any demarcation agreement, called the draft “a very important step”.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks to his cabinet at Israel’s weekly session.

“But,” he said in a televised address, “as we have emphasized since day one, this proposal completely preserves Israel’s national security interests, as well as its economic interests. ours”.

Lapid appears to have struck a deal under which gas will be produced by a company under a Lebanese license in the disputed Qana prospect, for which Israel receives a share of the revenue.

“We have no objection to having one more gas field in Lebanon under development, from which we will receive royalties,” he said. “Such an area would weaken Lebanon’s dependence on Iran, contain Hezbollah and bring stability in the region.”

The Lapid Center heads a caretaker government ahead of the November 1 election. His challenger, former Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has argued that the Lebanon deal could benefit Hezbollah, while at the same time. accused Lapid of evading congressional oversight.

Gideon Saar, Lapid’s justice minister, acknowledged that such transactions would generally be brought before the Knesset.

However, Saar told Kan radio, “there are exceptions – and this requires the attorney general’s consent – that would be exempt from the mandatory filing. I don’t want to get dragged into this. until we get the hang of it.”


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