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Israel told the United States on Wednesday it could sign a naval agreement with Lebanon.

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The Israeli government has informed the Biden administration that it will be ready to sign the maritime border agreement with Lebanon next week, a Lebanese newspaper reported on Saturday.

Israel has informed the United States that it may sign the deal on Wednesday, the first day the government can approve the proposal after a two-week review period in the Knesset, according to the pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al Ahbar.

The Supreme Court of Justice is currently appealing against the settlement, which could potentially hold its approval, although judges have expressed doubts about some petitioners’ core claims.

Amos Hochstein, the US State Department’s energy envoy, will reportedly arrive in Lebanon next week before the potential signing ceremony.

The newspaper report said that the event will take place in the Lebanese town of Naqoura, and delegations from Israel and Lebanon signed the agreement in separate rooms. Lebanon is not expected to sign the agreement until Israel does.

Once the agreement is signed, Jerusalem and Beirut will send letters to the United Nations setting out the terms of the agreement.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, right, meets with US Ambassador for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein at the presidential palace in Beirut, Lebanon, 9 September 2022. (Dalati Nohra, Lebanon’s official government photographer, via AP)

Lebanese President Michel Aoun is still debating who will lead the Lebanese delegation to Naqoura, where previous naval talks took place. Israel’s National Security Advisor Eyal Hulata is expected to represent.

In the report, it was stated that when the agreement comes to an end, Lebanon will start negotiations with Syria to determine its maritime borders, and will also arrange the maritime border with Cyprus in the light of the agreement with Israel.

Aoun announced last week that Lebanon had formally ratified the agreement, while the Israeli government voted to support the agreement’s principles and submit it for Knesset review earlier this month.

Left to right: Prime Minister Yair Lapid, US President Joe Biden and Lebanese President Michel Aoun. (Collage/AP)

Under the agreement, Israel will be recognized for its buoy-marked border five kilometers (3.1 miles) off the coast of the northern town of Rosh Hanikra, which it established in 2000. After that, the Israeli border will follow the southern end of the disputed area. The area known as Line 23.

Lebanon will reap the economic benefits of the region north of Line 23, including the Qana gas field, while Israel will continue its plans to start gas production soon at the Karish field.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said last week that under the agreed terms, Israel “will receive about 17% of revenues from the Lebanon gas field, the Qana-Sidon field, if and when they open.”

The prime minister also argued that the deal “fooled out” a possible war with Hezbollah and denied claims by opposition figures that it would fund the Lebanese terror group.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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