Israel Rejects U.S. Compromise on Maritime Dispute With Lebanon

YERUSHALAYIM -

A proposed American solution to the ongoing dispute between Israel and Lebanon over exploration rights in the resource-rich Mediterranean was turned down recently by Israel, Globes said Tuesday, quoting informed sources.

The failure so far to reach a compromise on conflicting claims to the borders of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), will delay development of Lebanon’s Block 9. That’s a Lebanese exploration area located north of Israel’s Alon license, which is likely to contain gas reserves comparable in scale to Israel’s huge Tamar field.

Lebanon filed a complaint with the United Nations in 2010 that the border of Israel’s EEZ encroaches on its maritime zone. Israel submitted its position to the U.N. in 2011 and the U.S. offered to mediate the dispute.

The area in question extends over 850 square kilometers, a triangular region with its apex near Rosh Hanikra and its base along the borders with Israel and Cyprus’s EEZs.

Globes revealed recently that Lebanon has already issued oil exploration tenders with  border markings for Block 9 according to the Lebanese version of where the border should be.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decline to comment.