Israel Lays Hands on 1,500 sq km of Lebanese Waters as Cabinet Seeks to Confront it

Energy Minister Jebran Bassil is expected on Monday to ask both President Michel Suleiman and Premier Najib Miqati to place the issue of Lebanon’s maritime border with Israel on the agenda of the cabinet meeting this week.

On Sunday, Bassil said that Beirut will not give up its maritime rights. His comment came after Israel's cabinet approved a map of the Jewish state's proposed maritime borders with Lebanon to be submitted for a U.N. opinion.

Israel's proposed map lays out maritime borders that conflict significantly with those suggested by Lebanon in its own submission to the world body.

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said in remarks published Monday that Lebanese authorities were drawing a map that confirms Lebanon’s rights in the Special Economic Zone.

Israel has expanded its maritime boundaries to put under its control more than 1,500 square kilometers of Lebanese waters in Lebanon’s SEZ, he said.

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