+1 Recommend
1 collections

      If you have found this article useful and you think it is important that researchers across the world have access, please consider donating, to ensure that this valuable collection remains Open Access.

      Arab Studies Quarterly is published by Pluto Journals, an Open Access publisher. This means that everyone has free and unlimited access to the full-text of all articles from our international collection of social science journalsFurthermore Pluto Journals authors don’t pay article processing charges (APCs).

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Conflict Over Oil and Gas in the Mediterranean: Israeli Expansionism in Lebanon



            This article will discuss Israeli machinations to covet substantial areas of the Lebanese maritime exclusive economic zone, while knowing full well that international law has sided with Lebanon in this matter. The conflict between Israel and Lebanon will be discussed in the context of the relations among regional states and the conflict of East Mediterranean states over maritime oil and gas fields. Main questions that arise in this regard are as follows: First, is it a matter of oil and gas reserves over and above its share that Israel is seeking to capture or does the controversy have to do with regional domination or both? Second, what is the significance of the US envoys’ visits in early 2018 to Beirut, presumably to resolve the disagreement between Lebanon and Israel? Third, have those visits defused the situation between the two states involved or added fuel to the fire? Fourth, what is the significance of Israel's occupation of parts of Lebanon's territory to the issue of offshore oil and gas and how might it relate to the cement wall that Israel has been constructing partially in Lebanese territories? Fifth, what is the probability of an Israeli attack on Lebanon that could quickly transform into a regional conflict?


            Author and article information

            Arab Studies Quarterly
            Pluto Journals
            1 January 2019
            : 41
            : 1 ( doiID: 10.13169/arabstudquar.41.issue-1 )
            : 95-110
            © 2019 The Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Custom metadata

            Social & Behavioral Sciences
            oil and gas,Israeli expansionism,maritime exclusive economic zone,international law,Lebanese territories,regional conflict


            1. Aboul-Enein, Youssef (2008). The Arab Perspective of the 2006 Israeli War with Hezbollah. Infantry, 97, 12–15.

            2. Ahren, Raphael (2018a). “Israel and UAE Have Maintained Close Covert Ties Since 1990s, Magazine Claims.” 11 June. Accessed January 6, 2019. <https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-and-uae-have-maintained-close-covert-ties-since->.

            3. Ahren, Raphael (2018b). “PM Justifies Tacit Support for Saudi Arabia Despite ‘Horrific’ Khashoggi Murder.” 13 December. Accessed January 6, 2019. <https://www.timesofisrael.com/topic/israel-saudi-arabia-relations/>.

            4. Al Arabiya (2019). “Hamas Releases Statement Thanking Iran for ‘Supporting Gaza Return Marches.'” <http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/11/27/Hamas-releases-statement-thanking-Iran-for-supporting-Gaza-return-marches-.html>.

            5. Aleem, Ahmed (2018). “Turkish–Egyptian War of Words in Eastern Mediterranean Heats Up.” Al-Monitor. 19 February. Accessed May 23, 2018. <https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/02/egypt-turkey-cyprus-eastern-mediterranean-natural-gas-rights.html>.

            6. Aljazeera (2010). “The Arab Peace Initiative.” 29 March. Accessed April 14, 2018. <http://www.aljazeera.com/focus/2009/01/200912764650608370.html>.

            7. Almayadeen TV (2019). “Almassa'iyyah.” 14 January.

            8. Aoudé, Ibrahim G. (2013). Egypt: Revolutionary Process and Global Capitalist Crisis. Arab Studies Quarterly, 35(3), 241–254.

            9. Aras, Damla (2012). Turkish–Syrian Relations Go Downhill: The Syrian Uprising. Middle East Quarterly, 19(2), 41–50.

            10. Babylon & Beyond (2010). “Israel, Lebanon: The Blue Line and Other Observations.” 5 August. Accessed June 15, 2018. <https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2010/08/israel-lebanon-the-blue-line-and-other-observations.html>.

            11. Barrington, Lisa (2018). “Lebanon to Begin Offshore Energy Search in Block Disputed by Israel.” 9 February. Accessed June 8, 2018. <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-israel-natgas/lebanon-to-begin-offshore-energy-search-in-block-disputed-by-israel-idUSKBN1FT218>.

            12. Barrington, Lisa, and Dan Williams (2018). “Israel, Lebanon Clash Over Offshore Energy, Raising Tensions.” 31 January. Accessed March 8, 2018. <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-natgas-lebanon-israel/israel-lebanon-clash-over-offshore-energy-raising-tensions-idUSKBN1FK1J0>.

            13. Bremmer, Ian (2018). “Why the Syrian Civil War is Becoming Even More Complex.” Time. 9 April. <http://time.com/5229691/syria-trump-putin-saudi-arabia/>.

            14. Cohen, Ora (2018). “Israel–Cyprus Dispute Over Gas Field Risks Delay for Creating Energy Hub.” 9 May. Accessed June 3, 2018. <https://www.haaretz.com>.

            15. Coutinho, Frank (2018). “Israel and Cyprus Disagree Over Aphrodite Gas Field.” 20 May. Accessed June 3, 2018. <blogs.timesofisrael.com/israel-and-cyprus-disagree-over-aphrodite-gas-field/>.

            16. Dunnahoe, Tayvis (2018). Oil & Gas Journal. 9 February. Accessed April 8, 2018. <https://www.ogj.com/.../lebanon-signs-exploration-agreement-for-two-east-mediterran>.

            17. Eckel, Mike (2018). “Putin, Rohani in Ankara for Syria Talks with Erdogan.” 4 April. Accessed January 6, 2019. <https://www.rferl.org/a/turkey-russia-iran-syria-summit/29145269.html>.

            18. Eran, Oded (2018). “Could Natural Gas in the Mediterranean Spark the Third Lebanese War?” The Jerusalem Post. 18 February. Accessed May 8, 2018. <https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Could-natural-gas-in-the-Mediterranean-spark-the-Third-Lebanese-War-542911>.

            19. Eshel, David (2000–2001). The Israel–Lebanon Border Enigma. International Boundaries Research Unit, Boundary and Security Bulletin, 8, 72–83.

            20. Farsoun, Samih K., and Naseer H. Aruri (2006). Palestine and the Palestinians: A Social and Political History. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

            21. Frantzman, Seth (2018). “Israel's Breakthrough in Relations with Arab States.” The Hill. 1 November. <https://thehill.com/opinion/international/413992-israels-breakthrough-in-relations-with-arab-states>.

            22. Grigoriadis, Ioannis N. (2010). “The Davutoğlu Doctrine and Turkish Foreign Policy.” Working Paper 8. Athens, Greece: Hellenic Foundation for Eurpoean and Foreign Policy.

            23. Gutman, Roy (2018). “Syria Moves One Step Closer to Ending the Civil War.” 17 October. Accessed January 6, 2019. <https://www.thenation.com/article/syria-moves-one-step-closer-to-ending-the-civil-war/>.

            24. Haaretz (2019). “Green Line.” 4 February. Accessed June 17, 2018. <https://www.haaretz.com/misc/tags/green-line-1.5599076>.

            25. Harel, Amos (2018). Haaretz. 27 February. Accessed April 8, 2018. <https://www.haaretz.com>.

            26. Hoffmann, Clemens (2018). “Scramble for Gas in Eastern Mediterranean is Stoking Old Tensions in the Region.” 1 March. Accessed June 14, 2018. <https://theconversation.com/scramble-for-gas-in-eastern-mediterranean-is-stoking-old-tensions-in-the-region-92070>.

            27. Houssari, Najia (2018). “Lebanon Vows to Prevent Israel from Building Concrete Wall in 13 Areas.” 13 February. Accessed May 8, 2018. <www.arabnews.com/node/1245031/middle-east>.

            28. Islamweb (2010). “Erdogan: Never a ‘Yes’ Man.” Accessed April 14, 2018. <http://www.islamweb.net/eramadan/articles/159139/erdogan-never-a-yes-man>.

            29. Johnson, Keith (2018). “Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Eastern Mediterranean Energy Patch is Hot—Unfortunately, in More Ways than One.” 21 February. Accessed May 8, 2018. <foreignpolicy.com/.../curb-your-enthusiasm-gas-israel-egypt-cyprus-turkey-mediterra>.

            30. Joint Statement by Iran, Russia and Turkey on the International Meeting on Syria in Astana 28–29 (2018). 30 November. Accessed January 6, 2019. <www.reliefweb.int>.

            31. Knell, Yolanda (2013). “Gas Finds in East Mediterranean May Change Strategic Balance.” 13 May. Accessed June 14, 2018. <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-22509295>.

            32. LBC group TV (2019). “Army Commander Receives Hale, US Ambassador to Lebanon.” 13 January. Accessed January 13, 2019. <https://www.lbcgroup.tv/news/lebanon-news/421274/army-commander-receives-hale-us-ambassador-to-leba/en>.

            33. Lesch, Ann Mosely (1991). Contrasting Reactions to the Persian Gulf Crisis. Middle East Journal, 45(1), 30–50.

            34. Lo, Chris (2017). “Timeline: Game-changing Gas Discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean.” 13 December. Accessed June 14, 2018. <https://www.offshore-technology.com/.../timeline-game-changing-gas-discoveries-east>.

            35. Maddy-Weitzman, Bruce (2016). “Israel and Egypt: Between Alliance and Rivalry.” 12 March. Accessed April 14, 2018. <http://www.jpost.com/jerusalem/between-alliance-and-rivalry-445217>.

            36. Mahdy, Fareed (2009). “Egypt Rejects U.S. Nuclear Umbrella.” Accessed June 2, 2016. <http://www.ipsnews.net/2009/08/disarmament-egypt-rejects-us-nuclear-umbrella/>.

            37. Manfreda, Primoz (n.d.). “Turkish–Syrian Relations: Overview.” Accessed June 4, 2018. <http://www.middleeast.about.com>.

            38. Middle East Monitor (2018). “Israel Resumes Construction of Wall Along Lebanon Border.” 10 April. Accessed April 14, 2018. <https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180410-israel-resumes-construction-of-wall-al>.

            39. Mills, Robin (2018). “Cyprus Calypso Gas Field Could Resurrect Country's Energy Sector.” 4 February. Accessed June 14, 2018. <https://www.thenational.ae/business/cyprus-calypso-gasfield-could-resurrect-country-s-energy-sector-1.701572>.

            40. Pande, Savita (n.d.). “Nuclear Weapon-free Zone in the Middle East.” Accessed May 14, 2018. <http://www.idsa-india.org/an-dec8–8.html>.

            41. Pappe, Ilan (2007). The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. New York, NY: Just World Books.

            42. Phillips, Christopher (n.d.). “Turkey and Syria.” London School of Economics, pp. 34–39. Accessed April 10, 2018. <http://www.lse.ac.uk>.

            43. Pipes, Daniel (2006). “Saudis Condemn Hamas and Hizbullah.” 13 July. Accessed April 14, 2016. <http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2006/07/saudis-condemn-hamas-and-hizbullah>.

            44. Press TV (2019). “Lebanon Warns of ‘Dangerous’ Israeli Wall on Border.” 11 January. Accessed January 13, 2019. <https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/01/11/585475/Israel-settlement-Lebanon-UNSC>.

            45. Rabinovitch, Ari (2018). “New Proposals May Help Resolve Israel/Lebanon Oil and Gas Dispute.” 5 June. Accessed June 8, 2018. <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-lebanon-border/new-proposals-may-help-resolve-israel-lebanon-oil-and-gas-dispute-idUSKCN1J10SE>.

            46. Reinhart, Tanya (2005). Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948. New York, NY: Seven Stories Press.

            47. Riedel, Bruce (2013). “Saudi Arabia Cheers the Coup in Egypt.” Brookings Institute. 7 July. Accessed January 7, 2019. <https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/saudi-arabia-cheers-the-coup-in-egypt/>.

            48. Rubenberg, Cheryl A. (2003). The Palestinians: In Search of a Just Peace. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

            49. Rummel, Rudolph J. (1979). Understanding Conflict and War: War, Power, and Peace. Vol. 4. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.

            50. Russia Today (2016). “Turkey to Keep Supporting Armed Groups Fighting Assad Regime in Syria—PM Davutoglu.” 28 February. Accessed June 1, 2018. <https://www.rt.com/news/333904-davuto-glu-turkey-invasion-syria-russia/>.

            51. Smith, Charles D. (2007). Palestine and the Arab–Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's.

            52. Sputniknews (2018a). “Beirut Calls US Proposal on Israel–Lebanon Maritime Borders Unacceptable.” 16 February. Accessed March 8, 2018. <https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201802161061730963-us-proposal-israel-lebanon/>.

            53. Sputniknews (2018b). “Lebanon Plans to Start Offshore Drilling in 2019 Amid Dispute with Israel.” 26 February. Accessed March 8, 2018. <https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201802261062004546-lebanon-oil-gas-drilling-israel-dispute/>.

            54. Stratfor (2018). “Assessments: The Eastern Mediterranean Great Game over Natural Gas.” 22 February. Accessed June 14, 2018. <https://www.worldview.stratfor.com/article/eastern-mediter-raneans-new-great-game-over-natural-gas>.

            55. The Times of Israel (2019). “Nasrallah Thanks Iran's Zarif for Support against ‘Zionist Aggression'.” 24 February. <https://www.timesofisrael.com/nasrallah-thanks-irans-zarif-for-support-against-zionist-aggression/>.

            56. Uzer, Umut (2013). “Turkish–Israeli Relations: Their Rise and Fall.” Middle East Policy, 20(1). Accessed April 14, 2018. <http://www.mepc.org/turkish-israeli-relations-their-rise-and-fall>.

            57. Wahlisch, Martin (2011). “Israel–Lebanon Offshore Oil & Gas Dispute: Rules of International Maritime Law.” 5 December. Accessed June 14, 2018. <https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2078583>.

            58. Watson, Ian and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy (2011). “Turkey Positions Itself as Heart of the Arab World.” Accessed April 14, 2018. <http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/09/13/erdogan.turkey.arabs/index.html>.

            59. Widdershoven, Cyril (2018). “An Eastern Mediterranean Offshore Gas War is Brewing.” 14 February. Accessed June 14, 2018. <https://oilprice.com>.

            60. Winer, Stuart (2018) “Lebanese Military Tells IDF Border Wall Violates its Sovereign Territory.” 6 February. Accessed April 8, 2018. <https://www.timesofisrael.com/lebanese-military-tells-idf-border-wall-violates-its-sover>.

            61. Ynetnews (2009). “The Saudi Arabia Peace Initiative.” Accessed April 14, 2018. <http://www.ynetnews.com>.

            62. Yurou (2018). “Israel Resumes Wall Construction on Border with Lebanon.” 9 April. Accessed May 18, 2018. <www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018–04/09/c_137098285.htm>.


            Comment on this article