World · June 18, 2022

Because the enemies of Lebanon and Israel are talking now

At the center is the gas-rich Karish field in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, which Israel plans to start exploiting.

The US Geological Survey estimated in 2010 that the Levantine basin could hold up to 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 122 trillion cubic feet of gas. For comparison, this would make the basin’s gas reserves approximately 7% of Russian reserves, the largest in the world.

Orna Mizrahi, a senior researcher at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies, said in a briefing to reporters on Sunday that the main issue that prevented an agreement between the two sides was a “change in the Lebanese position” on where the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon read.

What is the current Lebanon-Israel dispute about?

The crux of the dispute actually concerns the maritime economic border between the two countries and how to calculate the border line extending from Lebanon and Israel’s land border.

For years the disputed area covered some 860 square kilometers, with Lebanon claiming its maritime border was south of Israel’s claim. Below those border lines, the Karish camp lies well within the area claimed by Israel.

But recently, Lebanon revised its original claim of the maritime border, moving it further south and adding about 1,400 square km more than originally claimed, according to Mizrahi. The extra area includes part of the Karish camp where Israel is conducting exploration.

Why has this dispute flared up now?

On June 5, when London-based oil and gas exploration firm Energean arrived to begin development of Karish on behalf of Israel, Lebanon argued that the field was not to be developed until the talks concluded. to delineate the maritime boundary.

Why do these talks matter?

Struggling with a crippling economy and a fragmented government, Lebanon is in dire need of new sources of revenue from oil and gas exploration, while Israel wishes to position itself as a new natural gas supplier to Europe as an alternative to Russia. . Outlining the border would allow both sides to exploit the Mediterranean’s resources without legal obstacles or threats of a possible military confrontation.

“Lebanon, more than Israel today, needs this deal,” Lebanese energy expert Laury Haytayan said, adding that a deal would also provide security for Israel by allowing it to explore and drill without the “constant danger of potential escalation. “with Lebanon.

What is the current state of the talks?

The United States has proposed a compromise solution, which would create an S-shaped maritime economic border between the two countries. Under the proposal, all of Karish would go to Israel, while most of Qana, another field that has the potential for commercially viable gas, would go to Lebanon.
US mediator Amos Hochstein said in an interview with US-based Al-Hurra TV that a proposal Lebanese officials presented to him will allow the negotiations to “move forward”.

The digested

US hits Iran with new sanctions, targets Chinese and UAE companies

The US issued new sanctions related to Iran on Thursday, according to the US Treasury Department. The new sanctions have targeted Chinese and UAE companies and a network of Iranian companies that help export Iranian petrochemicals.

  • Background: The United States has sanctioned a network of Iranian petrochemical producers, as well as “front companies” in China, the United Arab Emirates and Iran, saying they were “instrumental in the intermediation” of the export of Iranian petrochemicals, a declaration of the Treasury. The network has also been committed to facilitating international transactions and evasion of sanctions, the statement added. The Chinese and Emirati companies were not reached by Reuters for comment.
  • Because matter: The steps could increase pressure on Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, which would limit Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities in exchange for lifting sanctions. While the deal was nearing completion, talks have stalled since March, when the US terrorist designation of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard emerged as the latest sticking point.

Israeli police conclude investigations into the conduct during Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral

Israeli police say they concluded their investigation into police actions during the funeral procession of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh in Jerusalem last month. Instead of releasing any details of the investigation or the findings, the police released a statement, in which Israeli Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai acknowledged that Abu Akleh’s funeral was a “complex event”, adding that “it is impossible to stay. indifferent to harsh images “. Israeli media have widely reported that no police officer on duty, or his commanders, will be penalized for his actions.
  • Background: Television footage showed officers hitting mourners with batons, nearly knocking the coffin off by the coffin bearers. At the time, the Israeli police said they were responding to objects and stones thrown at the police. Shabtai said the police had examined the conduct of the forces on the ground, but appeared to blame the funeral participants for the unfolding of the events: “We have to learn thoroughly. [the lessons from] the incident, so that in the future sensitive events such as these are not disturbed by violent rioters and are respected “.
  • Because matter: Israeli police came under sharp criticism after the march, with the White House calling the images “disturbing” and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying he was “deeply disturbed by the images of Israeli police intruding on the funeral procession”.

Jamal Khashoggi Way sign unveiled in front of Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC

A street sign in honor of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was unveiled in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC on Wednesday, with DC Council President Phil Mendelson saying that “the district is creating a memorial in his honor that it cannot be covered up or repressed “.
  • BackgroundUS intelligence reports last year found Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) “approved an operation in Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” which MBS denied. .
  • Because matter: The presentation of “Jamal Khashoggi Way” comes a month before Biden visits Saudi Arabia, where he is expected to meet MBS. The trip has already drawn criticism from members of his party and human rights defenders over the kingdom’s human rights situation and the journalist’s murder.

Around the region

Sultan al-Mutlaq al-Dawis (R), of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature of Kuwait, stands next to the Egyptian Ambassador to Kuwait Osama Shaltout (L) during a handover ceremony of five artifacts at the l Egyptian embassy in Kuwait City on June 16.
Egypt on Thursday recovered five pharaonic artifacts smuggled out of the North African country that were seized by Kuwaiti customs in 2019, state news agency MENA said.

The artifacts were statues of Egyptian pharaohs, including Amenhotep III and Amon-Ra, as well as the ancient Egyptian god Horus. Among them was also a stone mural.

Three of the artifacts date back to 1400 BC, the Kuwait state news agency said, adding that this was the second time Kuwait had returned stolen artifacts to Egypt. In 2018, the Gulf nation returned a wooden coffin cover to Egypt.

Antiques theft and smuggling have increased in Egypt after the 2011 uprising, which saw relics stolen from museums and through illegal excavations. The North African country has continued efforts to locate and recover its stolen treasures.

Photo of the day

A visitor sees a 1644 handwritten copy of the