Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu credited the Israeli opposition’s response to Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s backing of a U.S.-brokered maritime deal with Lebanon for Lapid’s sudden turn against the pending agreement.

“[Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah threatened – and Lapid folded,” Netanyahu tweeted on Thursday.

“Israel needs a different leadership, and experienced and strong prime minister who stands up to pressure and does not fold in the face of threats. We will not surrender to Nasrallah,” he added.

Lapid rejected the Lebanese government’s proposed changes to a maritime border and gas extraction agreement, a senior Israeli political source said on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Beirut’s deputy parliament speaker sent U.S. officials “amendments” to the draft accord, prompting a American official to tell Israeli media the suggested modifications did not include a “poison pill” that could torpedo the initiative.

The deal draws a border between the two countries’ exclusive economic zones (EEZs) based on a boundary known as Line 23. It awards a disputed area of around 840 square kilometers (9,042 square feet) to Lebanon while recognizing Israel’s claim to royalties from the section of the Qana gas field that extends into Israel’s EEZ.


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