A “Central plate,” bounded in the west by the “Pelusium line, ” which stretches in the easternmost Mediterranean Sea some 60 km off Israel, and by the Zagros main fault in the east, is moving northward at a faster rate than the adjacent Northwest African and Iranian plates. The wedging in of the “Central plate, ” which has been maintained since late Paleozoic time, generates lateral compression that is responsible for the simultaneous development of the northeast-trending compressional features and the northwest tensional features in the Levant. An analogous mechanism is suggested for the development of the Mesopotamian and Persian Gulf fold system.

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