Maritime deal with Lebanon positive, IOF, Mossad want it: minister
The Israeli minister of tourism hopes that a deal is struck with Lebanon on the issue of the maritime borders before the elections.
Israeli occupation Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov voiced on Friday his hope that the agreement with Lebanon regarding the demarcation of the maritime borders would be concluded before the elections. The agreement is good, he said, and the Mossad, the Shin Bet, and the Israeli occupation forces want it.
It is becoming less likely that "Tel Aviv" and Beirut reach a deal on the maritime borders, and there are several gaps between Lebanon and "Israel" when it comes to the gas agreement, Israeli media said.
"There is optimism in Israel about the probability of an agreement being struck with Lebanon, as we are seeing very vigorous efforts from US mediator Amos Hochstein so that the negotiations resume," Israeli Channel 13 military affairs commentator Alon Ben David said, underlining that there were loopholes in the draft document, which he explained could be fixed.
The company that is supposed to extract gas from the Karish rig, Energean, said it was ready to pump gas into the pipeline that leads to the disputed rig, according to Ben David. "This will be postponed until it is clear whether or not an agreement will be struck."
"On the Israeli army's end, there is no increase in the level of alertness, but there definitely is an increase in preparedness these few days due to the general understanding that we are adding the final touches to the agreement. There is an increased preparedness in anticipation of a provocation by Hezbollah against the gas rigs," he added.
This comes after an Israeli official said Thursday that the Israeli occupation rejected revisions requested by Lebanon to the US-mediated border demarcation proposal.
In response, Lebanese President Michel Aoun underlined that Lebanon had proposed the changes to the US-mediated deal with its rights to extract oil in its exclusive economic zone in mind.
Similarly, Abbas Ibrahim, Lebanese Security General Director General and one of the officials on Lebanon's negotiating team, said that Lebanon is not concerned with the Israeli response to the proposal on the demarcation of the maritime borders between Beirut and "Tel Aviv".
The Lebanese official underlined that US mediator Amos was responsible for dealing with the occupation's response to Lebanon.
"The Israeli's response means nothing to us as Lebanon," and Beirut "is waiting for the US negotiator to assume his responsibilities," he said. As long as Lebanon has a united front, it will stand strong, Ibrahim stressed.
Israeli media considered Thursday that the Lebanese maritime border agreement strengthens Hezbollah's position domestically, stressing that Hezbollah has once again proven that it can achieve its political and strategic goals in Lebanon and the region thanks to its military strength that cannot be dissuaded or weakened.