Report: Hezbollah Rejects Netanyahu Claim He Will Back Out of Deal

U.S. Senior Advisor for Energy Security Amos Hochstein meets with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati in Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 9. (REUTERS/Aziz Taher)

The Lebanese-based Hezbollah terror group rejects the assertions of opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, that he would not be bound by the pending Israeli-Lebanese maritime border agreement, the Al Akhbar newspaper reported on Monday

Netanyahu said Sunday that a government under his leadership would not have signed the deal, which he described as capitulation to the demands of the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group.

In its report, Al Akhbar – which is closely affiliated with Hezbollah and its leader Hasssan Nasrallah – said that whoever claims the deal is not binding “must know that the resistance has the power to make others submit to its demands.”

The agreement mediated by the U.S. would grant Lebanon a larger swap of economic waters that include the Qana natural gas field that is yet to be developed.

According to the draft presented to the Lebanese and Israeli governments, Israel would receive a portion of the income that the Qana rig would yield.

Netanyahu’s statement prompted an angry response from Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who accused his political opponent of endangering Israel’s security and economic interests.

“Some facts for Netanyahu because he has not seen the draft of the agreement,” Lapid wrote in a social media post on Monday. “Under the deal, Israel will receive 100% of its security demands, 100% of the Karish gas field and a portion of Lebanon’s Qana gas field. I understand the Likud is upset that they were not able to reach an agreement with Lebanon but that is no reason to join Hezbollah propaganda,” Lapid wrote.

Former National Security Council chief, Maj. Gen. Ret. Giora Eiland, who was part of Israel’s negotiation team, told Yediot that a deal was out of reach because a succession of Lebanese governments were fearful of Hezbollah and not because of Israeli demands.

“The issue of natural gas has become one of great importance in the world and this is the first Lebanese government to ignore Hezbollah’s intimidation efforts,” Eiland said.

“Seven years ago, Nasrallah said that in order to start a war with Israel that will cause it massive damage, he must argue that he is a Lebanese patriot, and in the tale of a theft of Lebanese natural gas by its neighbor to the south, Hezbollah can appear to be the protector of his country’s natural resources,” he said.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!