Israeli Cabinet approves maritime deal with Lebanon
Israeli government, Knesset to hold session Wednesday to review terms of maritime deal
Israel’s Security Cabinet on Wednesday voted to approve a maritime border agreement with Lebanon.
"Cabinet members expressed support for promoting the approval procedures of the agreement by the government," Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s office said in a statement.
It said the majority of the cabinet members voted in favor of the deal except for Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked who abstained from voting.
The statement stressed on the "importance and urgency in reaching the maritime agreement between Israel and Lebanon at this time."
The Israeli government is set to convene later on Wednesday, to be followed by a session for the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) to review the terms of the deal.
On Tuesday, Beirut and Tel Aviv agreed on the final version of the deal provided by US mediator Amos Hochstein.
Lebanon and Israel have been locked in a dispute over a maritime area of 860 square kilometers (332 square miles), according to maps sent by both countries to the UN in 2011.
The area is rich in natural gas and oil. Starting in 2020, five sessions of indirect negotiations have been held on the issue under UN sponsorship and US mediation, with the latest round held in May 2021.
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* Writing by Ahmed Asmar