The delimitation of the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon “removes” the risk of conflict between the Shiite armed movement Hezbollah and the Hebrew State, declared the Israeli Prime Minister on Wednesday, referring to this agreement that allows unblocking the exploitation of gas resources.
After intense negotiations mediated by the United States, Israel announced on Tuesday a “historic” agreement with Lebanon to establish maritime boundaries between the two neighboring countries, officially at war, and remove obstacles to exploiting gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean. This Thursday, Lebanon ratified the treaty.
“This agreement removes the possibility of armed confrontations with Hezbollah. Israel is not afraid of Hezbollah … but if it is possible to prevent a war, it is the government’s responsibility to do so,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid told a news conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
“The agreement begins a new security equation regarding the sea and Israel’s strategic assets. Has the potential to reduce Iran’s influence [archienemigo de Israel y apoyo de Hezbolá] in Lebanon,” added Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
The Israeli government on Wednesday endorsed the principles of the agreement by a large majority.
Lebanon, plunged into a serious economic crisis, highlights that the final version of the pact, proposed by the American envoy Amos Hochstein, was “satisfactory”.
According to Israeli officials, the proposal plans to leave the Karish field under Israeli control and grant Lebanon the Qana gas field, further to the northeast.
However, a part of this deposit will exceed the border line between the two countries, with which Israel would take part of the benefits of exploitation, these sources indicated.
“The Karish deposit is in our sovereign territory and an attack against it would be an attack against Israel. And we will not hesitate for a second to use force to defend” those facilities, Lapid will avoid.
“Israel will receive approximately 17% of the revenue from the Qana/Sidon field (name given by Israel) when it goes into production,” the official added.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said that his party, which dominates the country’s political life, will support the deal if the Lebanese government officially approves it.
In Israel, the text must be presented in Parliament on Wednesday and, two weeks later, it will be submitted for government approval, according to the prime minister’s office.
This deadline would allow the agreement to be approved just before the Israeli legislative elections on November 1, 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 the opposition, with this agreement Israel ceded a 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 more than 1,200 deaths on the Lebanese side, mostly civilians, and 160 on the Israeli side, mostly military.