Israel and Lebanon have reached a 'historic' agreement over the disputed maritime borders between the countries.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who made the announcement on Tuesday, explained that the deal would "strengthen Israel's security, inject billions into Israel's economy, and ensure the stability of our northern border."
Lebanese President Michel Aoun confirmed the news of the agreement on social media.
"The final version of the offer satisfies Lebanon, meets its demands and preserves its rights to its natural wealth," Aoun tweeted.
According to The Times of Israel, US mediator Amos Hochstein worked to bring the two countries together in the agreement.
A draft of the agreement was given to Israel on Tuesday. Eyal Hulata, the national security adviser, stated that the deal meets the country's economic, security, and legal demands.
"All our demands were met, the changes that we asked for were corrected. We protected Israel's security interests and are on our way to a historic agreement," Eyal Hulata, the national security adviser and the lead negotiator at the talks, said in a statement.
The deal would also put a long-standing dispute over some 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea, which covers the Karish and Qana gas fields, to rest.
It also proposes that Jerusalem's buoy-marked boundary, about 3.1 miles (5 km) off the coast of the northern town of Rosh Hanikra, would be granted international recognition. Israel previously established the boundary in 2000 following its withdrawal from southern Lebanon. Additionally, Israel's border would go towards the southern edge of Line 23, an area that both countries have disputed over.
Meanwhile, Lebanon will receive the economic benefits of the area north of Line 23, which includes the Qana gas field. A senior Israeli official, however, told reporters that Jerusalem will be compensated for relinquishing its rights to Qana, in which a portion of it would be considered Israeli waters.
Although further details of the agreement have not been formally published, Israel's Foreign Ministry said that Lapid is expected to approve the deal on Wednesday.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Oleksii Liskonih
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.