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October 30, 2013 8:57 pm

Report: Israel Rejects Compromise Proposal With Lebanon Over Economic Zones

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An aerial view of the Israeli gas rig Tamar. Photo: Albatross Aerial photography/Nobel Energy/FLASH90.

Israel has rejected a compromise proposal with Lebanon over the borders of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), Globes reported Wednesday.

Put forward by the U.S. in late-2012, the proposal sought to end a dispute over the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon, described by Haaretz as “a stretch of 12 nautical miles off the coast, with each country claiming full sovereignty of one side, and an additional stretch of more than 100 miles called the ‘exclusive economic zone’ or economic waters – a territory which has gained strategic importance in recent years, after gas worth billions of dollars was discovered in the area.”

According to Globes, “Lebanon complained to the United Nations in 2010 that the border of Israel’s EEZ encroaches on its own EEZ. Israel submitted its interpretation to the UN in 2011” and the U.S. asked to mediate between the sides as the two countries have no diplomatic relationship.

Haaretz reported in December 2012 that the U.S. compromise proposal was “based on cartographic research undertaken by American experts… The map does not purport to represent the territorial border between Israel and Lebanon, but to provide a compromise formula for a fair division of the ‘economic waters’ and the gas resources in the area.”

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Earlier this month reports surfaced that a possible agreement was within reach after Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the matter with U.S. President Barack Obama during a meeting in Washington.

Israel and Cyprus signed a deal in December 2010 that supports Israel’s interpretation of the borders.

Globes recently revealed that Lebanon has already published oil exploration tenders for its waters in line with the Lebanese version of where the border should be.

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