LEBANON - Sea Border Deal with Israel

Arno Froese

TotalEnergies, along with Emmanuel Macron, was instrumental in the agreement between Israel and Lebanon, announced by a US mediator, regarding the extraction of natural gas from fields under the Mediterranean Sea. It will exploit a controversial deposit on the maritime boundary on behalf of the Lebanese, and compensate Tel Aviv.

This agreement was made, after years of discord, against the tense backdrop of the war in Ukraine and the European decision to do without Russian gas. Israel is staking its bets, particularly, on the Karish gas field, which is ready to go into production, in order to speed up gas deliveries to the Old Continent. Lebanon, meanwhile, is in a multidimensional crisis, and needs to exploit its resources. Former Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke of ‘historic capitulation,’ and promised that he would break off the agreement if he returns to power.

-mondediplo.com, 12 October 2022

Arno's Commentary

The agreement was finally signed under diplomatic pressure on both sides. NBC News writes: “Lebanon and Israel both claim some 330 square miles of the Mediterranean Sea. Under the agreement, those waters would be divided along a line straddling a strategic natural gas field.” 

During King Solomon’s reign, a deep friendship between Israel and Lebanon existed. When Solomon had plans to build the temple on Mount Moriah, he needed wood: cedar trees from Lebanon. His request was met by King Hiram. First Kings 5:10 reports, “So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire.” Solomon in turn supplied sustenance for Lebanon: “And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year” (verse 11). 

We see that the waters of the Mediterranean played a role in this friendship. At this point in time, Lebanon is one of the most bitter enemies of Israel. Yet a bad agreement is better than none. There is a self-interest for both parties. Lebanon may extract—some say it will be years down the road—gas and oil from a gas field surrendered by Israel. While Israel will have complete control over the Karish gas field, the Qana field would be shared between Lebanon and Israel, with Lebanon taking control and Israel to be compensated. 

The issue is the Promised Land. Much of Lebanon is still Arab-occupied Israeli territory; subsequently, the bitter conflict with Lebanon. Yet the ultimate outcome was already settled long ago: “Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be” (Deuteronomy 11:24).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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