Lebanon reportedly drops claims on Karish gas field


21 June 2022

President Michel Aoun has agreed to limit Lebanon’s claim to the maritime border with Israel along Line 23, splitting the Sidon-Qana field, sources inform “Globes.”

The dispute between Israel and Lebanon over the border of their economic waters is moving towards a decisive point. Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun has met with US mediator Amos Hochstein, the special envoy of US President Joe Biden, and presented his country’s position which includes a compromise. The proposal has been passed onto Israel, sources close to the matter have told “Globes.”

According to one report, Aoun did not submit any written proposal to Hochman but rather told him the details in a person-to-person meeting out of concern that the compromise would be leaked to Hezbollah.

Aoun understands that the Shiite group sees the gas issue as a major story that can divert attention away from the criticism against it while presenting itself as the defender of the country against “Israeli attempts to conquer Lebanese gas.”

“Globes” has already revealed that Hochstein had made his return to Beirut to continue mediation contingent on the Lebanese accepting the original Line 23 that USA had insisted on in negotiations with Israel.

Aoun made it clear that Lebanon would compromise its claims on the Karish field, if Israel accepts Lebanon’s demands regarding Sidon-Qana.

One option that has been raised is the management of drilling and production from the field by an international body, after principles have been set for the division between Israel and Lebanon and marking the border.

Aoun’s proposal has been passed on to Israel and is currently being discussed by various authorities. Hochstein, according to reports, expects to be able to return to Lebanon at the start of July with Israel’s response.