Lebanon-Israel border dispute: Implications of canceled meeting amid escalating tensions

News Bulletin Reports
2023-07-15 | 11:36
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Lebanon-Israel border dispute: Implications of canceled meeting amid escalating tensions
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Lebanon-Israel border dispute: Implications of canceled meeting amid escalating tensions

On Monday, in the presence of UNIFIL, a scheduled indirect trilateral meeting between Lebanese and Israeli military delegations was supposed to take place in Naqoura.

The meeting aims to discuss the disputed points along the land border and the recent developments in Mari, Ghajar, and the two Hezbollah camps in Chebaa Farms.

However, the meeting, initiated by Israel through UNIFIL, was canceled after the UNIFIL leadership informed the Lebanese side that the Israeli military team would not attend, citing the need to assess recent events in certain areas along the Blue Line.

Was the primary reason for canceling or postponing the meeting truly to evaluate events on the Blue Line, or is it related to the dispute over the B1 point, which has always been a fundamental point of contention in maritime delineation?

The known B1 point refers to the Ras Naqoura, which the Lebanese army included within what is known as Basket A. It is worth noting that Israel had previously refused to discuss the B1 point during negotiations on Basket A, which includes Aalma El Chaeb, Al-Boustane, Marwahin, Yaroun, Meiss el-Jabal, and Odaisseh-Kfarkela.

Israel argues that Lebanon's annexation of the B1 point would compromise its security as it overlooks an Israeli tourist site.

Nonetheless, Lebanese experts assert that Israel's insistence on this point is primarily due to oil resources in that area. If this point had been returned to Lebanon before maritime delineation, Lebanon's maritime borders would have been significantly wider.

Among the remaining contentious points is what the army has designated as Basket B, which extends into Lebanese territory by a depth of 25 meters and includes: two points in Aalma El Chaeb, Rmeich, Blida, Odaisseh, and Metula Wazzani.

However, delineating the borders in these disputed points is no less complicated than the dispute over Chebaa Farms and the northern part of Ghajar. Lebanon considers Chebaa Farms to be Lebanese territory fully occupied by Israel after it advanced beyond the withdrawal line.

Thus, the issue of land demarcation resurfaces amid almost daily developments on the border, during which Lebanon holds a new negotiation card represented by the two camps set up by Hezbollah beyond the Blue Line drawn by UNIFIL in the Bastara farm of Chebaa. But, the Lebanese state does not officially recognize these camps.

Has the situation now shifted to removing the two camps in exchange for withdrawing from northern Ghajar and disclosing borders at the B1 point?

Lebanon News

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Lebanon

Israel

Border

Dispute

Implications

Canceled

Meeting

Escalating

Tensions

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