Israel-Hezbollah deal slammed as ‘shameful surrender’ to Iran-backed terror

Critics of the pending deal have panned it as a dangerous capitulation to Iran’s terror proxy. 

By World Israel News Staff

Israel and Lebanon are on the cusp of signing a U.S.-brokered deal to resolve a maritime border dispute, a move that has been hailed by Hezbollah’s terror chief and slammed by critics as deeply flawed.

Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday said that Lebanon would be the ultimate decision-maker regarding the U.S.-drafted agreement, which he said was “positive.”

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the proposal safeguards Israel’s security-diplomatic interests, as well as its economic interests.

“Money will flow into the state’s coffers and our energy independence will be secured. This deal strengthens Israel’s security and Israel’s economy,” he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

“We do not oppose the development of an additional Lebanese gas field, from which we will of course receive the share we deserve. Such a field will weaken Lebanon’s dependence on Iran, restrain Hezbollah and promote regional stability,” he went on.

The deal would pave the way for the extraction and production of energy from the offshore Karish gas field, which has been the subject of a fierce disagreement over the two nations’ maritime borders.

However, critics have slammed the deal as surrendering to Hezbollah, with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu saying Israel was gifting millions to the Iran-backed terror group.

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“Lapid shamefully surrendered to Nasrallah’s threats,” Netanyahu said. “He is giving Hezbollah sovereign territory of the State of Israel with a huge gas reservoir.”

“He did it without discussion in the Knesset and without a referendum. Lapid has no mandate to hand over territory and sovereign revenues to an enemy state,” he added.

Professor Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the Kohelet Policy Forum, told World Israel News that Lapid’s caretaker government was “engaging in a going out of business sale on sovereign Israeli territory.”

He slammed Israel’s government for capitulating to the Biden administration’s whim and “thumbing their noses at Israeli constitutional law,” and went on to claim that Lapid was using the agreement to score points before November’s national election.

“The proposed natural gas agreement between Israel and Lebanon represents a total capitulation to Hezbollah, and a transfer of sovereign Israeli territory to an Iranian puppet state,” he said.

“As the people of Iran fight for their freedom, Israel is surrendering to Tehran via Beirut without even getting an acknowledgement of its existence in return, let alone peace,” he went on.

After being proposed and rejected a decade ago, the deal is being rammed through, just weeks before the Israeli elections,” Kontorovich said, “because the Biden Administration and Hezbollah understand the desperation and weakness of the Lapid-Bennett government.”

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Due to Lebanon’s refusal to recognize Israel, the two countries never agreed on a formal demarcation of their maritime borders. The issue had little significance until the discovery of valuable gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean in recent years.

Israel has stated that Karish is entirely within Israeli waters, but Lebanon — which is currently suffering from an unprecedented economic crisis — claims that the gas field is partially located within its territorial waters.

The disagreement has sparked a long standing dispute over which country has the right to authorize and profit from its gas production, which appears to be finally coming to an end.

Amos Hochstein, a former Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs to the American government, has been the mediator between Israel and Lebanon in a months-long attempt at shuttle diplomacy.