BEIRUT (Dispatches) – The Zionist regime has breached Lebanon’s waters by licensing a company to "exploit an area” for oil and gas near disputed borders, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said on Wednesday.
The two sides have an unresolved maritime dispute over a sea zone of about 860 sq km (330 square miles) which extends along the edge of three of Lebanon’s energy blocks.
U.S. diplomats mediated between them last year after a spike in tensions that also involved a row over a wall the Zionist regime built on the Lebanese border.
"(It is) a dangerous matter. Israel has licensed and exploited an area adjacent to the Lebanese southern maritime borders,” MPs from Berri’s Amal party quoted him as saying on Wednesday after a meeting.
"This is an infringement on Lebanese sovereignty and targets our oil wealth and waters.”
The occupying regime’s energy ministry did not immediately comment.
Berri vowed "not to remain silent” and will bring it up with the Italian prime minister visiting Beirut this week, as well as other foreign states, the lawmakers said.
Ali Bazzi, an Amal lawmaker, said the occupying regime pressed on with the "violation” even though the companies on the Lebanese side have stayed away from the contentious border.
Lebanon sits on the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean - along with Cyprus, Egypt, the occupied territories and Syria - where a number big gas fields have been discovered since 2009.
Lebanon has signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production agreements for two energy blocks, including one disputed by the regime. A consortium of France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek signed the contracts.