Photo Credit: Italy in US
US diplomat Amos Hochstein (on the right, with Dr. Enzo Viscusi), December 12, 2014.

The independent online news website Elnashra reported on Friday, citing senior Lebanese government sources that the recent visit of Amos Hochstein, the American mediator for the demarcation of the maritime borders between Israel and Lebanon is shrouded in a “negative atmosphere.” According to the report, Hochstein spent 3 days in Tel Aviv to discuss the demarcation but faced a decline in Israeli Interest due to the events in Gaza. (مصادر رفيعة للنشرة: هوكشتاين تبلغ رفض اسرائيل للطرح اللبناني خلال زيارته الى تل أبيب),

The Lebanese officials told Elnashra about “negative news about the issue of border demarcation in Hochstein’s upcoming visit to Beirut, especially since the Israelis have rejected the Lebanese proposal in Thursday’s session, which included Hochstein and the Israeli negotiating delegation.”

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It is noteworthy that Lebanese President Michel Aoun informed Hochstein during the last Beirut visit of Lebanon’s intent to retain all the oil fields located within what it sees as its territorial water, in addition to the Qana oil field, and demands an international guarantee for drilling and production.

The Lebanese proposal also confirms that Israel will not participate in working the fields, and there is no talk of any “zigzag line.” This was a reference to Hochstein’s proposal to Lebanon in March on the demarcation starting from Line 23, which was drawn in a zigzag. Line 23 cuts very far to the south and essentially places the Karish dig inside Lebanese territorial water. Needless to say, Israel won’t hear about it, straight or zigzag.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.