TEL AVIV (Realist English). Lebanon and Israel have reached a historic agreement on the demarcation of the disputed maritime border between them, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said.
“Israel and Lebanon have reached aт historic agreement on the maritime border. The draft agreement fully complies with the principles presented by Israel, both in the field of security and in the field of economics,” the Israeli Prime minister said in a statement.
Lapid also stressed that “this is an historic achievement that will strengthen Israel’s security, inject billions into Israel’s economy, and ensure the stability of our northern border.”
In the morning, Lebanese President Michel Aoun made a similar statement. The leaders of the two countries approved the agreement and expressed hope for its early signing. Deputy Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Ilias Bou Saab expressed satisfaction with the text of the agreement. According to him, Lebanon and Israel took into account the counter comments.
Hezbollah, the influential Shiite pro-Iranian group that has threatened Israel over natural gas production, has agreed to the terms of the deal and considers negotiations completed, Reuters reports.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz says the new maritime border deal with Lebanon “is fair and good for both sides.” He says Israel “wants a Lebanese neighbor that is stable and thriving.”
On Wednesday, October 12, the agreement will be submitted for approval by the defense and political cabinet, after which a general meeting of the government will be held. After approval by the government, the agreement will be submitted to the Knesset, deputies will receive two weeks to study the document and prepare comments. However, the agreement of the Knesset is not required for the signing the agreement — the ratification process will begin after the signing.
Lebanon and Israel are contesting an 856 sq. km section of the shelf from each other. Each of the parties considers it part of its exclusive economic zone in the Eastern Mediterranean. This disputed area is located at the junction of the Lebanese Kana gas field with the Israeli Karish field. The maritime border between the countries that have been formally at war since 1948 has not yet been established.