Photo Credit: Energean Gas & Oil / Twitter
Energean's Karish oil and gas rig, anchored in the Mediterranean off the coast of northern Israel.

Talks between Israel and Lebanon to determine a mutual maritime boundary are continuing to progress, Israeli media reported Tuesday evening.

Although a final border has not yet been reached, the talks – mediated by US energy envoy Amos Hochstein – have moved towards working on a deal to divide gas fields that overlap the boundaries or provide financial compensation instead, according to the reports.

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According to a report by Israel’s Channel 12 News earlier this week, Israel and Lebanon will each install a gas rig on their respective sides of the border, five kilometers from each other. The Israeli government will be compensated for the part of the Lebanese natural gas field that crosses into Israeli territory, the news outlet reported.

The portfolio for the talks has now moved from the Energy Ministry to the Prime Minister’s Office, a further indication that the talks are moving in a positive direction.

Despite the obvious advantages to Lebanon and its struggling economy, the country’s Iranian proxy terrorist group, Hezbollah, is continuing to threaten Israel with an attack if Lebanon “does not get what it wants.”

Hezbollah has warned Israel not to begin extracting gas from its Karish reserve, located near Lebanon’s economic waters, until negotiations have concluded. Extraction is scheduled to begin next month.

Hochstein is expected to return to the region in the next several weeks.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.