Lapid confirms Israel to sign border deal with Lebanon Thursday


Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid confirmed Monday that Israel will on Thursday sign a "historic" sea border demarcation agreement with Lebanon.

"On Thursday, we are going to sign a historic agreement with Lebanon," the Israeli premier told his visiting Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte of the U.S.-brokered deal that appears set to unlock production at Mediterranean gas fields.

Israel and Lebanon, who are technically at war, agreed to terms earlier this month on the deal.

An Israeli court on Sunday cleared the way for its signing after rejecting petitions demanding the approval of parliament.

Israel holds elections on November 1, and the petitions additionally argued that agreements to cede territory should not be concluded during an election period.

Lapid said he intended on bringing the deal to the cabinet on Thursday for a vote.

"Israel will become in the near future a major supplier of gas to Europe," Lapid told Rutte in a meeting on energy cooperation between Israel and Europe, in remarks relayed by Lapid's office.

"And in the meantime, we have to work together to find medium-term and long-term solutions for green energy and renewable energy," he said.

Under the deal, Israel has full rights over the Karish gas field, which is expected to start gas production imminently.

Lebanon will have full rights to operate and explore the so-called Qana reservoir, parts of which allegedly fall in Israel's territorial waters, with the Israel receiving some revenues.

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