Lebanese military warns Israel against oil exploration on borders

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The Lebanese army on Thursday warned Israel against any violation of its sovereignty as the latter reportedly intends to start oil exploration close to the borders.

“The Lebanese army will face any Israeli violation of Lebanon’s rights in implementing the central security council’s decision,” the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) said in a statement.

The statement was released following a meeting between the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Head of Mission and Force Commander Stefano Del Col and a senior delegation from the LAF.

It also came after Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri expressed his worry on Wednesday about Israel’s intention to start oil exploration in July 2019 in the Karish field, which is very close to the Lebanese waters.

Berri also voiced concern over the intention of the French oil and gas giant Total S.A. to postpone its oil exploration in Lebanon’s Block 9, which borders Israel’s maritime zone and contains waters claimed by both sides.

Total was supposed to start operation in 2019 but has postponed it till the spring of 2020, said Lebanon 24, a local news agency.

“This is a very dangerous step,” Berri was quoted as saying.

On December 14, 2017, the Lebanese Council of Ministers approved two exclusive licenses for oil exploration and production in blocks 4 and 9 for a consortium composed of Total S.A, Eni International BV and JSC Novatek.

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