Netanyahu and Lapid Trade Barbs Over Maritime Border Negotiations With Lebanon

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Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a joint statement with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, Monday, June 20, 2022. Bennett's office announced Monday, that his weakened coalition will be disbanded and the country will head to new elections. Bennett and his main coalition partner, Yair Lapid, decided to present a vote to dissolve parliament in the coming days, Bennett's office said. Lapid is then to serve as caretaker prime minister. The election, expected in the fall, would be Israel's fifth in three years. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu sparred with prime minister Lapid over the continuing negotiations over the maritime border with Lebanon.

In a clip released Tuesday, Netanyahu attacked Lapid, claiming that he had surrendered to Hezbollah’s threats over the Karish gas field and is even willing to give away strategic Israeli assets to Lebanon in the framework of the border agreement, providing them with money which will enable Hezbollah to arm and threaten Israel’s security.

Lapid responded that Netanyahu’s statement is “terrible lack of responsibility, harming the negotiations and security, political and economic interests of Israel.” Lapid claimed that the clip was merely part of the election campaign.

The Likud party responded that “the real lack of responsibility is that of Yair Lapid who has surrendered to Hezbollah’s threats and transferred sovereign regions of Israel to them, without a Knesset discussion or any supervision.”

US negotiator Amos Hochstein met at the UN general assembly with the Israeli negotiating team as talks between the two countries moved up a gear. The Lebanese official conducting negotiations also arrived in New York for the negotiations.

Lapid’s bureau announced that “Israel believes that it is possible and necessary to reach an agreement on the maritime border which will serve the interests of the citizens of both countries.” The bureau claimed that the gas field has nothing to do with these negotiations. The Lebanese president said that the talks are at the final stage and “will ensure the rights of Lebanon to search for gas and oil.”

 


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