Lebanon, Israel to sign US-backed maritime deal Thursday: Lapid

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Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that Israel would sign an “historic” agreement with Lebanon to demarcate the maritime border between the countries in three days from now.

“On Thursday, we are going to sign an historic agreement with Lebanon,” the Israeli premier told his visiting Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte of the US-brokered deal that appears set to unlock production at Mediterranean gas fields.

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Israel and Lebanon, who are technically at war, agreed to terms earlier this month on the deal.

An Israeli court on Sunday cleared the way for its signing after rejecting petitions demanding the approval of parliament.

Israel holds elections on November 1, and the petitions additionally argued that agreements to cede territory should not be concluded during an election period.

Lapid said he intended on bringing the deal to the cabinet on Thursday for a vote.

“Israel will become in the near future a major supplier of gas to Europe,” Lapid told Rutte in a meeting on energy cooperation between Israel and Europe, in remarks relayed by Lapid’s office.

“And in the meantime, we have to work together to find medium-term and long-term solutions for green energy and renewable energy,” he said.

Under the deal, Israel has full rights over the Karish gas field, which is expected to start gas production imminently.

Lebanon will have full rights to operate and explore the so-called Qana or Sidon reservoir, parts of which fall in Israel’s territorial waters, with Israel receiving some revenues.

Read more: US lauds ‘historic’ border deal between Lebanon and Israel

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