Lebanon’s Energy Crisis


Can Israel exploit Lebanon’s energy crisis to undermine Hezbollah and restore stability on the northern border?

As part of Washington’s efforts to prevent escalation on the northern front, intensive clandestine contacts have taken place in recent weeks between Israel and Lebanon/ Hezbollah regarding points of contention related to the land border between the two countries, as well as energy issues. For these negotiations, the Americans have deployed Special Envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein, who helped mediate the original border deal signed in October 2022.

A 6th January article by Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper Al-Akhbar, noted that Hochstein is implicitly connected to Lebanon regarding the renewal of drilling by the French company, Total, in Lebanese economic waters and the current negotiations with Israel. According to the report, Hochstein acknowledged that “the suspension of energy activities stems from political motives,” hinting that drilling will not proceed as long as the conflict continues. Other reports suggest that American assistance for the recovery of the Lebanese energy sector is being presented as a condition for calming the winds of war against Israel.

Read full article by Ambassador (ret.) Michael Harari and Dr. Elai Rettig of Bar-Ilan’s Department of Political Studies