Lebanon: US to guarantee maritime deal if Netanyahu wins
Lebanon's negotiator Elias Bou Saab, who is also deputy parliament speaker, assures that the maritime deal “cannot easily be canceled."
Lebanese Chief Negotiator said Wednesday that Lebanon has obtained "American guarantees" that its maritime border agreement with “Israel” will not be simply abrogated if Benjamin Netanyahu returns to the Israeli premiership.
Following Tuesday's Israeli Knesset elections, preliminary projections suggested that Benjamin Netanyahu was within striking distance of a governing majority and of staging a comeback.
Last month, Lebanon signed the indirect maritime border agreement with the Israeli occupation at the UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who appeared to be leading in the Israeli elections on Wednesday, has vehemently denounced the agreement, calling it an "illegal ploy" and saying that he would not be bound by its terms.
However, Lebanon's negotiator Elias Bou Saab, who is also deputy parliament speaker, said as quoted by AFP that "we obtained sufficient American guarantees that this deal cannot easily be canceled."
He affirmed that Washington had warned that "the withdrawal of any party would have great consequences on both countries."
"When Netanyahu says that he wants to withdraw, this means that he will be facing the international community," Bou Saab added.
On his account, Lebanon's interim Prime Minister Najib Mikati shared Bou Saab’s stance assuring that US guarantees would secure a maritime border agreement with “Israel” if former PM Benjamin Netanyahu won a majority in elections.
"We're not afraid of a change in the authorities in Israel. Whether Netanyahu wins or someone else, no one can stand in the way of this (deal)," he said as quoted by Reuters.
Following the signing of the maritime border agreement, Netanyahu said that Lapid is shamefully surrendering to the threats of the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
According to Netanyahu, should the agreement with Lebanon be signed, Hezbollah would be "receiving Israel’s sovereign territory and a gas field worth billions of dollars" without any parliamentary debate and referendum.
"Lapid has no mandate to give sovereign territory and sovereign assets that belong to all of us to an enemy state," Netanyahu said.
The former Israeli PM reiterated that the agreement with Lebanon "is illegal and we won’t be obligated by it," in the event of returning to power after the November 1 election.
In response, Lapid tweeted: "I understand that it pains you that you didn’t succeed in achieving an agreement, but that is no reason to join Nasrallah’s propaganda campaign."
Lapid said Netanyahu "hasn’t seen the agreement," claiming that it gives "Israel" "100% of its security needs, 100% of the Karish reserve, and even some of the profits from the Lebanon reserve."