Israeli gunboats have breached maritime border despite agreement, Lebanese army says

Israel has been accused of entering Lebanese waters seven times in three days

A deserted Lebanese army post at the southern border area of Ras Al Naqoura. Reuters
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Israeli gunboats breached Lebanon’s maritime border on Monday near the southern Ras Al Naqoura area, a Lebanese army source told The National.

It is the seventh time in three days that Israel has been accused of crossing the border.

The army source said "we always protest such violations".

Army protocol involves sending the co-ordinates, date and time of the breaches to the Foreign Ministry, the source said.

The ministry then registers the incidents officially with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.

Ras Al Naqoura is a contested territory that straddles the land border between the countries.

The accusations come after Lebanon and Israel last week reached an US-mediated agreement on their maritime border.

The agreement did not directly address the dispute over Ras Al Naqoura. Instead, it sets the beginning of the maritime demarcation five kilometres from the coast.

It remains to be seen whether Israeli vessels will continue to enter Lebanese waters after the border agreement is signed, the army source said.

“Our work is to relay when they violate this area. If the government wants to have any kind of reaction, we would be ready,” the source said.

Updated: October 18, 2022, 2:59 PM