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Israeli ministers to meet on Lebanon maritime deal, but approval pending

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JERUSALEM — Israel’s top cabinet ministers will convene on Thursday to discuss a prospective U.S.-mediated border demarcation deal with Lebanon addressing a disputed Mediterranean gas field, but will not take a final vote on it, a senior Israeli official said.

The draft deal, which has not been made public, has had a mostly warm preliminary reception by the Israeli and Lebanese governments. But there has also been domestic opposition voiced in both countries, which are technically at war.

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Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll said Israel’s security cabinet, a generally secret forum for approving key strategic affairs, would meet at 4 p.m. (1300 GMT) to discuss the draft.

“The main points of the deal, and the matters we support, will be presented to it,” Roll told Ynet TV about the forum.

But making clear that Israel did not deem the deal final, he added: “There are still caveats … The deal will be brought to the security cabinet, then it will be brought to the (full) cabinet, then it will be submitted to parliament.” (Writing by Dan Williams Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)