Cairo calls for end to “dismantling states” in the region at the UN and signs on to the EastMed gas agreement.
Israel and Lebanon have a dispute over an 860 sq. km. area in the eastern Mediterranean Sea that includes several blocs rich in natural gas off the coasts of both countries.
Lebanese MP Kassem Hachem called the decision to begin explorations in Block 72 "piracy" and a "declaration of war."
DIPLOMATIC AFFAIRS: Cyprus’s president had planned to come to Israel next week. While the trip is off for now, the countries remain at a stalemate over the development of the Aphrodite-Yishai field.
Despite the modest signs for actual gas finds, Russia’s involvement in the Lebanese energy market spans much wider interests than natural gas – some of which directly concern Israel.
Earlier on Sunday, the Energy Ministry said in a statement that the security torch at the rig had been lit as a precautionary measure, to prevent air pollution.
Initial investigations found that the incident was caused by an error in the gas detectors on the platform, causing the alert to be activated due to concerns of a leak. The alert was a false alarm.
The decision was made in response to a question by the Jordanian government concerning a parliamentary proposal to cancel the natural gas deal with the Jewish state.
The Energy Ministry said on Saturday night that all natural gas will be gradually emptied from the offshore platform.
The gas deal adds a very significant economic component to the Israel-Egypt relationship.