What is the proposal of former American mediator Frederic Hof?

Special What is the proposal of former American mediator Frederic Hof?
Frederic Hof
Updated 13 February 2018

What is the proposal of former American mediator Frederic Hof?

What is the proposal of former American mediator Frederic Hof?

In 2012, the US appointed its Special Envoy to Syria and Lebanon, Frederic Hof, to negotiate a settlement over the dispute with Israel over the offshore oil Block 9.
Hof proposed dividing the disputed area temporarily, giving two-thirds to Lebanon and a third to Israel, without revoking Lebanon’s right to self-delimitation, which stipulates that the entire disputed area of 860 sq km is under Lebanese sovereignty.
Hof then pledged that the US administration would convince Israel that the temporary solution would not hinder the interests of the Israeli and Lebanese sides in exploring their gas and oil resources.
In 2013, the US sent Amos Hochstein, assistant secretary of state for energy resources, to Lebanon to reach a compromise between Lebanon and Israel and narrow down the area of dispute over the disputed offshore area, and eventually, formulate an understanding leading to a safe start of exploration and extraction of gas and oil.
Hochstein suggested drawing a temporary blue sea line, which provided that the disputed area alongside the line on both the Lebanese and Israeli sides remained outside exploration operations until a final demarcation agreement was reached. However, investment in all other undisputed areas could start in the context of an understanding or agreement over the blue offshore line between the two parties.
Hof repeated the American proposal to split the disputed area, giving Lebanon 500 sq km and Israel the remaining 360 sq km. Lebanon agreed to take the 500 sq km but refused to give up the remaining 360 sq km. However, the Americans insisted on the formula of 500 for Lebanon and 360 for Israel, and accordingly, the proposal was frozen.
The Lebanese side suggested that the UN should draw up a non-permanent maritime line and define the non-investment area, or so-called “sharing zone,” until the final line was drawn up, but the US official did not respond to this suggestion.