Lebanon and Israel close to reaching maritime deal over Karish gas reserves: report
Israel's Defence Minister Benny Gantz threatened Lebanon with war over the gas reserves on Monday, days after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned of an "escalation" if Lebanon was "not given what it asked for."
The two countries have had a long-standing dispute over their maritime territories in the Mediterranean Sea that is thought to have a large natural gas reservoir called the Karish gas field. They have never settled on a maritime border.
Lebanon claims the Karish gas field is in disputed territory, whereas Israel says it lies within its internationally-recognised economic waters.
Israel is reportedly scheduled to start extracting gas from the area as early as September.
Political instability in both countries, however, could hold up the deal further. Israel has struggled to elect a functioning government over the past few years, with a fifth election in two years planned for November 2022.
Lebanon meanwhile is mired in an economic, political and financial crisis amid a plunging economy that has seen millions pushed into poverty.