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Israel’s Netanyahu slams possible maritime deal with Lebanon

Israel’s Netanyahu slams possible maritime deal with Lebanon
Lebanon, Israel locked in dispute over maritime area rich in gas and oil

By Ahmed Asmar

ANKARA (AA) – Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday condemned a proposed maritime border agreement with Lebanon.

Netanyahu, who is the head of the right-wing Likud Party, accused Prime Minister Yair Lapid of trying to hide the details of the deal from the public.

Lapid seeks “to authorize the agreement without a debate in the Knesset and without the referendum required," he added in statements cited by The Jerusalem Post newspaper.

“Lapid has no mandate to hand over sovereign territories and sovereign assets that belong to all of us to an enemy state,” Netanyahu said.

"Yair Lapid shamefully surrendered to [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah's threats," Netanyahu stated. "He is giving Hezbollah sovereign territory of the State of Israel with a huge gas reservoir that belongs to you, the citizens of Israel."

Early on Sunday, Lapid confirmed that Tel Aviv had received a US proposal for maritime border demarcation with Lebanon.

The Israeli premier told his Cabinet that the deal would "strengthen Israel's security and Israel's economy," adding that Israel has been seeking to strike an agreement for more than 10 years.

On Saturday, Lebanon said it had received a letter from US mediator Amos Hochstein regarding a proposed solution to the maritime border dispute with Israel.

Lebanon and Israel are locked in a dispute over a maritime area of 860 square kilometers (332 square miles), according to maps sent by both countries to the UN in 2011.

The area is rich in natural gas and oil. Starting in 2020, five sessions of indirect negotiations have been held on the issue under UN sponsorship and US mediation, with the latest round held in May 2021.

source: News Feed
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