Israeli gas finds lead to border rows

Israeli gas finds lead to border rows
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A three-nation dispute is escalating over massive natural gas discoveries in the Mediterranean sea.

Israel has made two large finds in the last 18 months which are estimated to hold nearly 700 billion cubic metres of gas.

The Tamar and Leviathan discoveries have prompted Lebanese officials to probe whether the gas finds extend into their waters.

Similarly, Cyprus has requested United Nations clarification on its sea borders.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet ministers that the borders presented by Lebanon to the UN contravene other recent agreements between Cyprus and its neighbours.

Israel and Lebanon are officially still at war and have no agreed sea border.

Relations with northern Cyprus are also strained following last year’s deadly raid of a Turkish aid flotilla by the Israeli military.

Worse still, Israel is not a signatory to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The companies involved in the prospecting said one of the discoveries is the world’s biggest deepwater gas find of the past decade.

One analyst told euronews that like most sea border disputes, this spat could well end up at the International Court of Justice.

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