Israel ignores Lebanon, declares maritime economic borders
The Israeli government outlined the country's maritime economic borders on Sunday that challenged what it said were boundaries submitted by Lebanon to the United Nations in a dispute over ownership of massive Mediterranean gas fields.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Lebanon's proposed lines encroached on the Israeli-claimed area and contravened sea boundaries that Israel defined with Cyprus in 2010. "The borders that Lebanon presented at the United Nations are a significant distance south of the proposed Israeli line," Netanyahu stated.
Last year, Beirut has asked the United Nations to ensure that Israeli drilling plans do not threaten its own offshore reserves.
Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday his country is to seek a U.N. opinion on its maritime borders with Lebanon. "We will soon be presenting the United Nations headquarters in New York with our position on our maritime borders," Lieberman told Israeli public radio.
"We have already concluded an agreement on this issue with Cyprus... Lebanon, under pressure from Hizbullah, is looking for friction, but we will not give up any part of what is rightfully ours," he added.