Israel hopes France will intervene in gas dispute

Israel hopes France will intervene in gas dispute with Lebanon

Tensions are rising between Israel and Lebanon over the disputed maritime border in the gas-rich Eastern Mediterranean.

Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah says it can prevent Israel from extracting gas from the Karish field, which Beirut insists is in disputed waters.

Meanwhile, Israel’s defense, foreign and energy ministers described the Karish field in a joint statement as a “strategic asset to Israel” and “not in disputed territory.”

The risk of a conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean is getting the attention of the European Union, which has shown interest in the region’s gas potential as an alternative to Russian gas supplies.

Shortly after taking office on July 1, Israel’s new prime minister faced his first challenge when Hezbollah in Lebanon launched three drones toward the karish gas field off the coast.

On July 5, Yair Lapid visited Paris, marking his first foreign trip as Prime Minister of Israel.

Lapid took office as prime minister on July 1 following the collapse of the coalition government.

A day later, the new leader faced his first challenge, when Hezbollah in Lebanon launched three drones towards the Karish gas field off the coast in the eastern Mediterranean.

During his trip to France, Lapid is scheduled to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he plans to call on Paris to intervene in a dispute over gas resources in the Mediterranean between Israel and Lebanon.

Ahead of the visit, a senior Israeli official also said the issue of the gas dispute with Lebanon would be on the agenda during talks at the Elyse Palace.