Israel eases some restrictions on Gaza in unofficial truce

Hamas says it “won’t allow the occupation to retreat” from cease-fire terms mediated by Egypt and the UN. (Reuters)
Updated 28 June 2019

Israel eases some restrictions on Gaza in unofficial truce

  • Israel had resumed fuel deliveries that were cut off earlier this week

JERUSALEM: Israel says it has restored fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip’s sole power plant and expanded the permitted fishing zone off the enclave’s coast, easing some recent restrictions on the blockaded territory.
An Israeli official confirmed Palestinian reports on Friday that Israel had resumed fuel deliveries that were cut off earlier this week, and extended the fishing zone up to 15 nautical miles from 10 nautical miles.
The official says that in return, the Hamas militant group which rules Gaza “promised to halt the attacks on Israel,” a reference to incendiary balloons launched from the enclave that recently sparked wildfires in southern Israel.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.
Hamas says it “won’t allow the occupation to retreat” from cease-fire terms mediated by Egypt and the UN.


Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

Updated 29 October 2020

Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

  • A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”

BEIRUT: Lebanese negotiators laid out their claim to maritime territory on Wednesday as they began a second round of talks with Israel over their disputed sea border.
The contested zone in the Mediterranean is an estimated 860 square kilometers known as Block 9, which is rich in oil and gas. Future negotiations will also tackle the countries’ land border.
Wednesday’s meeting took place at the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) amid tight security. An assistant of the UN special coordinator for Lebanon chaired the session, and the US Ambassador to Algeria, John Desrocher, was the mediator.
A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”
The Lebanese delegation produced maps and documents to support their claim to the disputed waters.
In indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel in 2012, US diplomat Frederick Hoff proposed “a middle line for the maritime borders, whereby Lebanon would get 58 percent of the disputed area and Israel would be given the remaining 42 percent, which translates to 500 square kilometers for Lebanon and 300 square kilometers for Israel.”
On the eve of Wednesday’s meeting, Lebanese and Israeli officials met to discuss a framework to resolve the conflict through the implementation of UN Resolution 1701.
UNIFIL Commander Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col praised the “constructive role that both parties played in calming tensions along the Blue Line” and stressed the necessity of “taking proactive measures and making a change in the prevailing dynamics regarding tension and escalation.”