BEIRUT — In a statement posted on Twitter Saturday, Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil called on Israel to remove the production, storage and offloading vessel deployed in the disputed Karish offshore gas field to avoid “dangerous escalation” with Lebanon.
Here’s what we know:
• “The dissolution of the Israeli parliament does not justify the lack of a response to the possible solution regarding the two fields [Karish and Qana] and maritime borders,” Bassil said after tensions between Lebanon and Israel flared up again following the arrival of the gas exploitation vessel in early June. “The Israeli government is capable of finding a solution if it wants,” he added. “Otherwise, it must at least remove the unit from the Karish field. It’s not enough for it to be stopped at Line 29.”
• Israeli media reported that, following his visit to Beirut, American mediator in indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel, Amos Hochstein met remotely with Israeli negotiating teams to discuss Lebanon’s proposals, which have yet to go public.
• The head of the Israeli army threatened Lebanon with “massive and devastating” bombardment “if a war were to break out” over tensions around maritime border negotiations.