(Photo Credit: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/Flash90)
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 16 October rejected Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s request to discuss the final draft of the maritime demarcation agreement between Israel and Lebanon.
Opposition leader Netanyahu, branded Lapid’s invitation to the security briefing of the maritime border agreement as “futile,” describing his dealings with Lebanon’s government as “irresponsible.”
“On the one hand, Lapid refuses to bring his agreement surrendering to [Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah’s leader] Nasrallah to the Knesset for approval on the grounds that the opposition does not like it, and on the other hand he invites the opposition to a futile briefing after the fact,” the Likud party said in a statement that was retweeted by Netanyahu.
The tweet added that Lapid’s conduct was not democratic, and insisted that the established agreement be brought before the Knesset for approval.
Lapid responded to the former prime minister’s criticisms by calling him an “irresponsible opposition leader” for refusing to attend the briefing of the agreement with Lebanon, which is essentially backed by the entire security sector.
Netanyahu continues to claim that Lapid’s administration lacks a Knesset majority, and has no authority over the approval of the mandate.
Both Beirut and Tel Aviv have agreed to the US-mediated agreement, however, Netanyahu affirmed that the agreement will not last if he is able to win the upcoming elections on 1 November. He further described the deal as a “surrender” by Israel to threats from Hezbollah.
Despite successful developments on the agreement, on 7 October, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the readiness of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), for a possible war with Hezbollah in the country’s north.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense published a statement, saying that “the defense minister directed the IDF to prepare for a scenario of escalation in the north, both offensively and defensively, given the developments in the negotiations on the maritime border.”