Israel Falls for Lebanon’s Treaty Bait-and-Switch

I visited Beirut in 2020 while working as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs to restart negotiations over a maritime border between Israel and Lebanon that had been stalled for nearly a decade. A Lebanese journalist expressed concern that Jerusalem will negotiate with Beirut in the upcoming negotiations. “You are a Phoenician,” I assured him—the venerable ancient merchant Mediterranean civilization that became what is now Lebanon. “I believe you will hold your own.”

My advice turned out to be predictable. Two years later, the countries reached an agreement on the boundary of an offshore EEZ, which they strongly supported for Lebanon. During the negotiations, brokered by the Biden administration, Israel conceded its entire claim to a 330-square-mile area to Lebanon in exchange for an internationally recognized 3-mile buffer zone contiguous. with the coastline. The rest of the area belongs to Lebanon, which will also have the right to exploit the natural gas field known as Qana, which extends south of the border, and is obliged to pay Israel for the gas. mined there. Israel Falls for Lebanon’s Treaty Bait-and-Switch

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