Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati indicated that “the attempts of the Israeli enemy to create a new crisis, by encroaching on Lebanon’s water wealth and imposing a fait accompli in a disputed area in which Lebanon adheres to its rights in it. This is a very dangerous matter, and it could cause tensions whose repercussions no one can predict.”
Mikati warned of “the repercussions of any incomplete step, before completing the mission of the American mediator, whose resumption has become more than an urgent necessity,” calling on the United Nations and all concerned to remedy the situation and compel the Israeli enemy to stop its provocations.
President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, contacted Mikati and a number of stakeholders to discuss these developments. He asked the army leadership to provide him with accurate and official data to build on the matter, pointing out that negotiations to demarcate the maritime borders are still ongoing, and therefore any action or activity in the disputed area constitutes a provocation and a hostile act.
It should be noted that Lebanon deposited with the United Nations a few weeks ago a letter confirming its adherence to its marine rights and wealth, and that the Karish field is located within the disputed area, and it was circulated at the time to all members of the Security Council as a document of the Council under the number S/2022/84 On February 2, 2022 and duly published.
In the letter, Lebanon asked the Security Council not to carry out any drilling by Israel in the disputed areas, in order to avoid steps that might pose a threat to international peace and security. The letter also confirmed that Lebanon is still counting on the success of the mediation efforts undertaken by the American mediator, Amos Hochstein, to reach a negotiated solution to the maritime border issue under the auspices of the United Nations.
Earlier in the day, the Israeli ship to extract and store liquefied natural gas entered the Karish field and crossed Line 29 and became 5 km from Line 23, in the disputed area with Lebanon.