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Israel draws new map for maritime border with Lebanon

A United Nations ship on October 14, 2020 [MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]
A United Nations ship on October 14, 2020 [MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]

The Israeli authorities have drawn a new map for its maritime border with Lebanon based on the latter's expansion of the area disputed between the two countries, RT reported on Tuesday.

The new version was published by the Jerusalem Post, claiming that the disputed area is originally two per cent of Israel's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Israeli newspaper said that the new maritime border referred to as Line 310 is larger than Israel's current line being negotiated with Lebanon.

For the first time in 30 years, Israel and Lebanon started indirect talks last October on the border issue. The talks were brokered by the United States.

Lebanon agreed to take part in the hope that it would benefit from the gas reserves in the Mediterranean. This in turn would help to ease its critical economic situation.

READ: Lebanon praises US mediation in border demarcation talks

After four rounds of talks, though, they were stopped. Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz claimed that Lebanon had changed its position seven times during the talks, and made "provocative" proposals.

Israel and Lebanon started their talks based on a memorandum sent to the UN in 2011. This included a notice of initial agreement on a border point between the two countries, which limits the dispute to just 860 square kilometres.

Lebanon, however, is asking for its rights based on the international land border point established in 1922, which gives it an additional sea area of 1,430 square kilometres, making a total of 2,290 square kilometres. It is in response to this Lebanese expansion that Israel has re-drafted its own map of the area in question.

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