The northern Israeli kibbutz of Misgav Am shows the border wall with Lebanon. AFP
Negotiations between old foes Lebanon and Israel were launched in October to try to resolve the dispute, which has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area, yet the talks have since stalled.
One Lebanese official who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue told Reuters that the US side had informed Lebanon that talks would resume on Monday.
An Israeli soldier is stationed near the northern Israeli Kibbutz of Malkia along the Lebanese border. AFP
The second Lebanese official said the resumption would coincide with a visit by US mediator John Desrocher, who is due in Lebanon on an unspecified day next week. US embassy officials were not immediately available for comment.
The longtime foes held several rounds of talks in October, a culmination of three years of diplomacy by the United States, hosted by the United Nations at a peacekeeper base in southern Lebanon.
But gaps between the two sides remained large after each presented contrasting maps outlining proposed borders that actually increased the size of the disputed area.
Since the talks stalled, Lebanon's caretaker prime minister and ministers of defence and public works approved a draft decree which would expand Lebanon's claim, adding around 1,400 square km to its exclusive economic zone.
Israeli soldiers are pictured stationed near the northern Israeli Kibbutz of Malkia along the Lebanese border. AFP
The draft decree has yet to be approved.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz's office said Israel was considering a renewal of talks but "based on the known territory which is in dispute".
Israel already pumps gas from huge offshore fields, while Lebanon has yet to find commercial gas reserves in its own waters.
Hezbollah said on Monday it had shot down an “Israeli drone” as it crossed the border with Lebanon, a week after a confrontation between the arch-foes.
The Israeli air force struck a Palestinian base in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria early on Monday amid rising tensions in the Middle East, the Lebanese state-run National News Agency and a Palestinian official said.
Hizbollah will respond with a “surprise” strike against Israel after drones crashed in Lebanon, but a new war remains unlikely, the Iran-backed movement said, amid heightened fears of a full-scale confrontation between the longtime adversaries.
The move comes to ensure rights protection of both parties in a balanced manner, promote the growth and stability of the labor market, and enhance the economic competitiveness of the UAE.
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