The Israeli Prime Minister announced, on Wednesday, that the demarcation of the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon “eliminates” the risk of conflict between the Shiite Hezbollah and the Hebrew state, in reference to this agreement that allows lifting the ban on the exploitation of gas resources.
After intense negotiations brokered by the United States, Israel on Tuesday announced a “historic” agreement with Lebanon to demarcate a maritime border between the two neighboring countries, officially at war, and remove obstacles to the exploitation of gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean. On Thursday, Lebanon ratified the treaty.
This agreement removes the possibility of armed confrontations with Hezbollah. “Israel is not afraid of Hezbollah,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said at a news conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday. “But if war can be prevented, it is the government’s responsibility.”
“The agreement begins a new security equation related to the sea and Israel’s strategic assets. It has the ability to limit Iran’s influence.” [archienemigo de Israel y apoyo de Hezbolá] In Lebanon,” added Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
On Wednesday, the Israeli government approved by a large majority the principles of the agreement.
Lebanon, plunged into a serious economic crisis, highlights that the final version of the agreement, proposed by US envoy Amos Hochstein, was “satisfactory.”
According to Israeli officials, the proposal plans to leave the Karish field under Israeli control and give Lebanon the Qana gas field, to the northeast.
These sources indicated that part of this deposit will go beyond the border line between the two countries, with which Israel will share in the benefits of exploitation.
The Karish deposits are in our sovereign lands, and an attack on them would be an attack on Israel. And we will not hesitate for a second to use force to defend those facilities, Lapid will avoid.
The official added that “Israel will receive approximately 17% of the revenues from the Qana/Sidon field (the name given by Israel) when it goes into production.”
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said his party, which dominates political life in the country, would support the deal if the Lebanese government officially approved it.
In Israel, the text must be submitted to parliament on Wednesday, and after two weeks, it will be submitted for government approval, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
This deadline would allow the agreement to be approved before the November 1 Israeli legislative elections, the fifth in three and a half years.
The elections could mean the return to power of Benjamin Netanyahu, with his ultra-Orthodox and far-right allies.
For the former leader, now in opposition, with this agreement Israel ceded part of its “sovereign territory” and obtained a “historic capitulation” to Hezbollah’s threats.
In 2006, the last major confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah caused the deaths of more than 1,200 on the Lebanese side, mostly civilians, and 160 on the Israeli side, mostly military.