BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:40 P.M.) – On Sunday evening, the Lebanese Army accused Israel of violating the country’s territorial waters on two separate occasions in a 24-hour period.
In a statement carried by the National News Agency of Lebanon, the army said, “On 12/26/2020 and at 18.38 hours, an Israeli enemy gunboat violated the Lebanese territorial waters off Ras al-Naqoura, about 200 meters away, for two minutes and dropped two light bombs.”
In its statement, the Lebanese Army added, “On 12/27/2020, between 04.37 and 08.36 hours, a similar boat violated the Lebanese territorial waters off Ras al-Naqoura for a maximum distance of about 335 meters and for a period of four minutes.”
The army confirmed that the violations were being followed up in coordination with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
At the beginning of this month, it was announced that the round of talks that had been scheduled between Lebanon and Israel would be postponed until further notice.
The first round of negotiations began on October 14, after years of mediation by Washington, and the second round was held on the 28th and 29th of the same month.
Observers said that “the negotiations are difficult, and there is Israeli insistence and American bias in order to prevent Lebanon’s rights,” stressing that “American pressure is being exerted at the present time to force Lebanon to accept the approach of Israel.”
Days earlier, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in an interview with the Israeli Army Radio that there had been no breakthrough after four rounds of talks, and that the positions presented by Lebanon so far amounted to “provocation.”
The negotiations mainly relate to a sea area extending to about 860 km, based on a map sent in 2011 to the United Nations, but Lebanon was later considered to be