Aoun’s warning came a day after Israel approved a license for oil and gas exploration in “Block 72,” located close to the Block 9 gas fields, where Beirut is set to begin explorations for natural gas and oil soon.
“Block 72” sits along the disputed 860-kilometer line of waters that separate the Lebanese from Israeli-held territories.
“This will complicate the situation further as Lebanon will not allow any violations of its internationally-recognized territorial waters, especially in the Exclusive Economic Zone where Block 9 — which will be explored by Lebanon within a month — is located,” Aoun said Monday.
The Lebanese president further called for the country’s Supreme Defense Council to meet on Tuesday to discuss the development at the southern border.
Lebanese lawmaker Kassem Hachem described the Israeli decision as “piracy” and a “declaration of war” on Lebanon, calling for action at “all levels” to “put an end to these aggressive intentions on our homeland.”
Israel relies heavily on gas and has long been developing a number of offshore gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea.
Reportedly, Israel had been avoiding granting licenses for the exploration of Block 72, fearing it could lead to a new conflict with Lebanon.