Lebanon Seeks UN Help Over Israeli Border Dispute

Israeli Govt's New Borders Include Key Gas Fields

The Israeli government’s unilateral decision regarding maritime borders with Lebanon has sparked a serious diplomatic row, with the Lebanese government filing a complaint with the United Nations over what they call “aggression” against their own territorial claims.

The maritime border between the two has never been finalized, and the Lebanese government believes that it should extend latitudinally from the border between the two nations. Israel, for its part, believes that since the land border juts out at an angle, the sea border should as well.

The reason this is only becoming a serious issue now is that a large offshore natural gas deposit was found in the disputed region between the two proposed borders. Israel’s government has now unilaterally declared their version of the border the correct one.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman insists that the decision is final, saying they have reached an agreement with Cyprus to respect their newly-claimed borders. He also claimed the Lebanese objection was simply a Hezbollah plot to raise tensions in the region. This is of course false, because the exact same objections about the border were raised by the previous Lebanese government, which was hostile to Hezbollah and had close ties with the US.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.