Yair Lapid, Israel’s prime minister, said on Tuesday that months of US-brokered negotiations had resulted in a “historic agreement” between the two nations, which have technically been at war since Israel’s creation in 1948. The deal would “strengthen Israel’s security, inject billions into Israel’s economy, and ensure the stability of our northern border”, he added.
A statement from the office the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, said the latest version of the proposal “satisfies Lebanon, meets its demands, and preserves its rights to its natural resources”, adding more consultations would be held before an official announcement.
The agreement is expected to enable Israeli production of natural gas from the Karish maritime reservoir, which with the nearby Tanin field is estimated to hold as much as 2-3tn cubic feet of natural gas and 44m barrels of liquids. Lebanon had previously claimed part of the Karish field as its own.
While relatively small in terms of global production, bringing Karish online is a welcome development for Israel’s western allies, as the invasion of Ukraine has sent energy prices soaring and left Europe searching for alternatives to Russian oil and gas.