Lebanese caretaker Energy Minister Jebran Bassil warned Friday that "Israel has the ability to reach Lebanon's oil reserves," saying "We won't allow it to encroach on our natural resources."
During a press conference held Friday, Bassil accused Israel of digging a well 4 km away from Lebanese offshore reserves, urging President Michel Suleiman and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati to hold an extraordinary cabinet session over oil exploration.
"Lebanon's reputation is at stake," the minister said.
A prolonged debate emerged between Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey and Israel over the demarcation of maritime border. The disputed zone is about 854 square km, and probably contains billions of U.S. dollars' worth of energy reserves.
Lebanon has been slow in exploiting its maritime resources compared with other eastern Mediterranean countries.