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Lebanon warns Israel over ‘dangerous’ gas exploration bid

Press TV – June 30, 2020

This file photo shows Israel’s Tamar natural gas production platform some 25 kilometers west of the Ashkelon shore in February 2013 in the Mediterranean Sea.

President Michel Aoun has warned Israel against its “extremely dangerous” bid to explore oil and gas on Lebanon’s maritime border, parts of which are claimed by the regime, saying the Arab country will not allow any violation of its territorial waters.

Aoun’s warning came a day after Israel approved a license for oil and gas exploration in “Block 72,” located close to the Block 9 gas fields, where Beirut is set to begin explorations for natural gas and oil soon.

“Block 72” sits along the disputed 860-kilometer line of waters that separate the Lebanese from Israeli-held territories.

“This will complicate the situation further as Lebanon will not allow any violations of its internationally-recognized territorial waters, especially in the Exclusive Economic Zone where Block 9 — which will be explored by Lebanon within a month — is located,” Aoun said Monday.

The Lebanese president further called for the country’s Supreme Defense Council to meet on Tuesday to discuss the development at the southern border.

Lebanese lawmaker Kassem Hachem described the Israeli decision as “piracy” and a “declaration of war” on Lebanon, calling for action at “all levels” to “put an end to these aggressive intentions on our homeland.”

Israel relies heavily on gas and has long been developing a number of offshore gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea.

Reportedly, Israel had been avoiding granting licenses for the exploration of Block 72, fearing it could lead to a new conflict with Lebanon.

In February 2018, Lebanon said it had signed gas exploration and production contracts for two energy blocks, including Block 9, with a consortium of France’s Total, Italian Eni and Russia’s Novatek oil and gas companies.

The two sides nearly came to blows over Beirut’s offshore oil and gas exploration projects.

Back in December 2017, Beirut had granted licenses to a consortium of three international companies to carry out exploratory drilling in Lebanon’s Block 4 and Block 9 and determine whether they contain oil and gas reserves.

Israeli authorities, who claim sovereignty over Block 9, reacted angrily to the announcement.

In January, Israel signed a deal with Greece and Cyprus to build a pipeline channeling natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, despite objections from Turkey.

Israel and Lebanon have further been engaged in a rift over Israel’s occupation of Shebaa Farms, a small strip of land at the intersection of the Lebanese-Syrian border and the Golan Heights.

June 30, 2020 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. A diagram of the disputed area would have been helpful, but, you can be sure, both sides will use every trick in the book to get their hands on the “LOOT”. Money is like oxygen to both sides of this argument.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | June 30, 2020 | Reply

  2. Lebanon: caught up in the maw of Zionist interference, expansionism and greed. (Maronite Christian) President Aoun: stand fast, but you face a juggernaut that will never stop meddling, probing, stealing…. Your words sound strong; will actions be in tandem?

    The basta*d Zionists always exploit any opportunity to exploit any opportunity to entrench their grasping and mendacious ways. Zionism is a vile, racist, arrogant, colonial-imperial blot on humanity. The Palestinians, in Zionism’s way, bear the brunt of this evil with a resolve and staying power that is as admirable as it is worthy of empathy and intense, supportive counter-action — even as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the entire region fulminate but always must face the USraeli “entangling alliance” to their detriment.

    What the hell can I do…other than sign petitions (and try, inter alia, to get my “progressive/liberal” church denomination to “up its game”…with notable non-success) that go nowhere and make Zionism’s agents chortle and sneer?

    They’ve got us. We’re all Palestinians now.

    (Shebaa Farms??! — S*it: that dispute, about which I believe the ineffectual UN sides with Lebanon’s claims of territorial sovereignty, has been ongoing f o r e v e r .)

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by roberthstiver | July 1, 2020 | Reply


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