Israel and Lebanon have technically been in a state of war since Israel’s founding in 1948, in a dispute over rights to a gas field in the Mediterranean Sea. The two countries have signed an agreement that sets their borders in the Mediterranean. Hezbollah, the militant and political group in Lebanon had been threatening to attack Israel if it extracted gas prior to a deal.
Both countries will benefit economically from this deal. The agreement addresses 330 square miles of the Mediterranean Sea off the coasts of the two countries. Until now, neither country had been able to utilize the field. The patch of sea contains a piece of Karish, a confirmed gas field, and part of Qana, a prospective field. The deal was brokered by the US and confirmed Israel’s full rights to Karish and confirmed Lebanon’s rights to Qana. Lebanon agreed for part of the profits from Qana to go to Israel as some of the territory lies in Israel’s waters. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid views the deal as a political achievement. Lebanese President Michel Aoun, however, said the deal is a technicality and does not have political implications. The rival to Lapid, Benjamin Netanyahu, is hoping to return to power in Israel and has called the agreement illegal and stated he would not follow its terms.