Beirut: «Al-Khaleej» – Agencies
Lebanon prepares to respond to Israel’s written comments on its proposals regarding the demarcation of maritime borders, at a time when Tel Aviv has indicated the continuation of negotiations to try to conclude a deal, and has signaled its readiness for the possibility of a war, as Lebanese banks unanimously decided to close their doors to customers “until further notice” after a series of assaults in Beirut and other governorates by depositors trying to recover their frozen deposits in the banking system.
Lebanese sources have confirmed that the work for an agreement for the demarcation of borders is continuing with the American mediation, and we have moved from the phase of political negotiations to the phase of the study of the legal and technical vocabulary in a quiet atmosphere away from tensions.
Lebanon submitted its comments on the American draft and Israel rejected it.These remarks are summed up in the fact that Lebanon does not accept that there must be a safe area under Israeli control and refuses to give up any space to establish a security zone for Israel. It also refuses to include the idea of demarcating land borders and will not negotiate its borders, but will work with the United Nations to define the parameters of its international borders, and this matter applies to the sea, as well as any attempt to link the work of Total with the agreement between it and Israel; Rather, he wants the company’s work to be related to its needs and for the direct company to engage in drilling and excavation work regardless of any discussion between it and Israel, and Lebanon will not accept an official celebration in Naqoura, as the Israelis they want.
Meanwhile, Israeli media indicated on Friday that US President Joe Biden’s administration is lobbying Lebanon to withdraw some of its remarks.
Last night, the Israeli mini-council for security and political affairs discussed the American offer and opportunities for confrontation with Lebanon, and concluded without making any statements.
Yesterday, the official Israel Broadcasting Corporation quoted an unnamed Israeli security source as saying that “Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s directives to the military to prepare for an escalation scenario in the northern region carry a message to Lebanon that the failure to reach an agreement on the demarcation of maritime borders can lead to the deterioration of the situation and even to the outbreak of a military confrontation ”.
The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation stated that “the Israeli military completed its preparation for such a scenario before the current crisis occurred in this file”.
Despite the tone of the escalation, Israeli sources indicated that talks to try to reach an agreement are still ongoing.
He added: “The American mediator, Amos Hochstein, is in direct contact with the Israeli and Lebanese sides.”
Meanwhile, most Lebanese banks have joined the decision to close after the Association of Banks called for a strike and the closure of all bank branches in Lebanon and the ATM service alone, due to attacks on various bank branches. .
The banks had unanimously decided to close their doors to customers indefinitely. A banker told Reuters that the banks will continue their urgent operations for customers and back-office services for companies.
And last month, the banks were closed for nearly a week after incidents of break-ins by frustrated depositors.