The Israeli military installed a new naval buoy on Tuesday within Lebanese waters at Ras al-Naqoura to mark its occupation of a disputed area of 860 kilometers, a Lebanese security source announced.
The source clarified that Israel is attempting to forcefully impose the boundary on Lebanese negotiators by installing the buoy and waiting to see UNIFIL’s response to the action.
This development comes a day after the announcement that the next round of indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel over the maritime border demarcation had been postponed.
A Lebanese security source told Reuters that the reason for the delay was Israel’s rejection of Lebanese proposals.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz confirmed the delay and said it had been agreed with the Americans that talks would be postponed for a few weeks.
The meeting was supposed to be held on Wednesday following talks that had taken place in November at the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Naqoura, south of Lebanon.
Lebanon’s delegation has tried to pursue an additional 1,430 square kilometers to be included in Lebanese territory on top of the already disputed 860 square kilometer area.
The talks began in October after both countries agreed to a US-mediated framework for negotiations aimed at ending a long-running border dispute.
Currently, Lebanon also disputes 13 land points along the UN-demarcated land border, known as the “Blue Line.”
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