The American mediator, Amos Hochstein, who is exclusively negotiating on behalf of the concerned American side, informed that he had postponed his return to the region until the seventh of next September, as an initial date, unless there was any negative development, in light of the delegate’s bet on Israeli acceptance of all Lebanese demands and Lebanese flexibility in the form of The exit, and in light of the efforts made by the United States and Europe at the request of Israel to ensure that no military action would take place against Israeli naval installations during the negotiation period.
Al-Akhbar learned information related to the file, including:
– The American mediator held a meeting via the Zoom application with officials in the team of the Prime Minister of Israel, in which he discussed possible formulas to activate, and he assured his contacts that he had met a while ago in Greece with Israeli delegates and from the management of the Greek “Energean” company.
– The American broker did not obtain full approval from the French company “Total” to start excavation work in Lebanese blocks before agreeing on the demarcation. The French company has once again informed the Lebanese side that it will not start excavation work before announcing a clear and integrated agreement and the existence of security guarantees from all parties.
– Hochstein talks about a compromise solution that prevents the explosion and does not link the issues together, such as Israel announcing an official delay in the extraction process from the Karish field and the Greek company accompanying it, and that Total and other international companies announce their intention to complete the exploration in the Lebanese fields. The Americans believe that this solution allows the parties to be given enough opportunity to arrange their affairs, which in practice means passing the Israeli elections before returning to an agreement with Lebanon, while the United States and its supporters in Lebanon benefit from the lack of agreement in the remainder of President Michel Aoun’s term.
– Lebanon, through official and non-official bodies, renewed its rejection of the idea of joint action between the fields of Lebanon and occupied Palestine. After it was attributed to a Lebanese official that there is no objection to Total taking over the work in the Qana field, and that it will later distribute the shares to the two sides, a high-ranking official told Al-Akhbar that this option is not on the table at all, and that Hochstein heard assurances that Lebanon rejects any A kind of partnership or joint work or any contact, and he wants the full Qana field and does not recognize any share of Israel in it.
– Israel continued its media maneuvering strategy, and yesterday the economic newspaper “Globes” joined the chorus of missionaries of the agreement, saying that the agreement is very close, and is likely to be signed next September. While the newspaper “Jerusalem Post” reported that “he believes that the negotiations are in their final weeks, and they are positive. Israel transferred the negotiating portfolio from the Energy Ministry to the Prime Minister’s Office. It has entered the stage of final touches. It focuses on the issue of compensation and estimation of gas quantities on both sides of the border.
As for the contacts made by the American mediator, they have become questionable because of the procrastination that dominates his work. It ended the first waiting period, which lasted for weeks saturated with anxiety and uncertainty, between solutions and the possibility of military escalation, to start a second waiting period, which is supposed to extend until the first of next October. It seemed that his mission had become limited to denying media reports and leaks coming from Tel Aviv, so that the Lebanese side would not rush into what the Americans and their Israeli allies fear.
There is no justification for the mediator’s delay and procrastination, knowing that he is fluent in Hebrew well, and he can understand the responses that crystallized in Tel Aviv to the Lebanese demands, and he only has to carry them to Lebanon, to build on the required thing, but to linger without an unjustified movement, which is what is presented Questions about the goal, and whether the delay in the delivery of the Israeli response was intentional and aimed at gaining more time, pending a certain maturity, in Lebanon or in Israel, or both. But is the cause, whatever it may be, worth the risk of a military confrontation?