Lebanon: Israel violating water borders in oil exploration

Israel has breached Lebanon's waters by licensing a company to "exploit an area" for oil and gas near disputed borders, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said Wednesday.


The two countries have an unresolved maritime border dispute over a sea zone of about 860 sq km (330 square miles) which extends along the edge of three of Lebanon's energy blocks.


US diplomats mediated between them last year after a spike in tensions that also involved a row over a border wall Israel built and over Iran-backed Hezbollah's growing arsenal.


"(It is) a dangerous matter. Israel has licensed and exploited an area adjacent to the Lebanese southern maritime borders," MPs from Berri's Amal party quoted him as saying on Wednesday after a meeting.


"This is an infringement on Lebanese sovereignty and targets our oil wealth and waters."


The Israeli Energy Ministry did not immediately comment.


Berri vowed "not to remain silent" and will bring it up with the Italian prime minister visiting Beirut this week, as well as other foreign states, the lawmakers said.


Ali Bazzi, an Amal lawmaker, said Israel pressed on with the "violation" even though the companies on the Lebanese side have stayed away from the contentious border.


פרסום ראשון: 02.06.19, 16:43