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Gas: a New Approach To Lebanon-Israel Conflict

Jean Aziz examines the effect that the newly discovered gas reserves on the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel might have on regional peace.
Lebanese Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi (C) tours the stands displayed at an exhibition at the Lebanon International Oil and Gas Summit in Beirut December 3, 2012.    REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir (LEBANON - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS POLITICS)

The conflict between Israel and Lebanon could be the longest-running conflict in the region when considering the peaceful, albeit partial, resolutions of Camp David with Egypt, the Wadi Araba Treaty with Jordan, the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, and even the 1974 cease-fire agreement with Syria over the Golan Heights. Only the Lebanese-Israeli front has remained active since 1948. Every known mechanism and approach to international conflicts has been tried on this front: direct war between the two countries as happened in 1948; attempts at a truce in 1949; wars fought on Lebanese land between Israel and a third party, such as against the Palestinians in 1978 and 1982, or Hezbollah in 1993, 1996 and 2006; negotiations of the Madrid Process in 1991 to try to reach an “international understanding” for regulating the war, as happened in April 1996; and lastly, coming to an international status somewhere between truce and war with Security Council Resolution 1701, adopted after the July 2006 War, which saw military operations halt without a ceasefire even being announced.

The conflict has dragged on for more than 60 years, and every possible approach has been attempted. Today, though, there seems to be a new means to resolve the conflict and it is called “the gas at the bottom of the sea!”

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