The American idea for settling a long-running conflict between the neighbors would improve Israel’s economy and increase regional security, according to Israel’s prime minister, who welcomed the proposal on Sunday.
According to Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Israel and Lebanon received the proposal over the weekend.
He claimed the idea, which he said was still under study, would reinforce Israel’s northern regions close to the Lebanese border, enable Israel to extract more natural gas, and bring in new funds for the government coffers.
“This is a deal that strengthens Israel’s security and Israel’s economy,” Lapid said.
He added that creating “an extra Lebanese gas field” along the sea border would reduce Lebanon’s reliance on Iran, rein in the violent Hezbollah organization, and advance regional stability as long as Israel got “the part we deserve.”
Before the government voted on the agreement, he claimed that legal and defense professionals reviewed it.
According to Israeli media, a vote might occur on Thursday.
The idea was also given to Lebanese officials on Saturday.
Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said he opposes the forming agreement and wouldn’t be bound by it if reelected.
Netanyahu oversaw the negotiations that started in 2020 and is running for office again in the November elections.
The country’s interim leader, Lapid, wants to defeat Netanyahu in the polls.
Since Israel’s founding in 1948, Lebanon and Israel have been waging an official war, and both nations have maritime claims to about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea.
Senior energy security advisor for the U.S. Amos Hochstein, after meeting with Lebanon’s authorities on his most recent visit to Beirut in September, the State Department official who has been mediating between the two countries voiced optimism.