Maritime Border Agreement raises Lebanese optimism and Israeli resentment

BEIRUT / TEL AVIV — After long negotiations, Lebanese officials declared a forthcoming agreement on the delineation of Lebanese–Israeli maritime borders.

“Despite the harsh conditions that the Lebanese are experiencing today, the meeting of the U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein gives us hope that the youth generation will take the initiative and rise up in Lebanon, and it is our duty to provide the ingredients that help them in this process,” Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati stated.

However, 3rd Alternate Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his reservations about the border agreement, saying that the current agreement differs from what he knew and from what was presented to the mini-security council. He stressed that Lebanon, under the new agreement, got everything it asked for.

According to Israeli media, it is expected that Bennett will formulate a clearer position before the Security Council discussions that will be held later this week.

On the other hand, head of the Israeli delegation to negotiations with Lebanon Udi Adiri submitted his resignation in a rejection of the Israeli government’s direction to push the new U.S. proposal towards legal treatment in preparation for its ratification.

Leader of the Israeli opposition Benjamin Netanyahu, in turn, accused Prime Minister Yair Lapid of providing free gas to Hezbollah and preventing the Israelis from obtaining it.

According to close sources, Lapid will not agree to an agreement that harms Israel’s security and economic interests but is awaiting official response from the relevant authorities so that he can learn how to move forward with the agreement.