(MENAFN) On Wednesday a Lebanese offshore oil and gas exploration tender on the countries' maritime border, and urged international firms not to bid.
"When they issue a tender on a gas field, including Block 9, which by any standard is ours ... this is very, very challenging and provocative conduct here," Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.
"Respectable firms" bidding on the tender "are, to my mind, making a grave error - because this is contrary to all of the rules and all protocol in cases like this," he told an international security conference hosted by Tel Aviv University's INSS think-tank."
A bid made by a consortium of France's Total, Italy's ENI and Russia's Novatek was approved by Lebanon in December, for two of the five blocks put up for tender in the country's much-delayed first oil and gas offshore licensing round.
Lebanon considers the Zionist entity an enemy state and has an unsettled maritime border dispute with it over a triangular area of sea of around 860 sq km (330 square miles) that extends along the edge of three of the blocks, one of the blocks, block 9, borders Israeli waters.