Israel, Lebanon at odds over maritime border claims


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s proposed northern maritime border with Lebanon differs significantly with its neighbor, with billions of dollars at stake.

Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday approved the demarcation of the border. The Lebanese proposal contains gas and oil reserves also claimed by Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet that the boundary will delineate the area in which the state enjoys exclusive economic rights, including the right to exploit the sea’s natural resources.

"The outline that Lebanon submitted to the U.N. is significantly further south than the line Israel is proposing," Netanyahu said. "It also conflicts with the line that we have agreed upon with Cyprus and, what is more significant in my eyes, it conflicts with the line that Lebanon itself agreed upon with Cyprus in 2007.

"Our goal is to determine Israel’s position regarding its maritime border, in keeping with the principles of international maritime law."

Israel will submit the coordinates to the United Nations later in the week; Lebanon submitted its version of where it says the border should lie in November.

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