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Ambassador David Friedman

'Maritime Deal Gives 100% to Lebanon, 0% to Israel' 

Former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman lambasted the emerging maritime border deal between Israel and Lebanon, claiming it marks a complete capitulation of Israel’s interests in favor of Lebanon’s.

In a series of tweets Monday morning, October 3, the former Trump administration official said that prior to Biden’s election, the White House nearly brokered a more equitable deal. “We spent years trying to broker a deal between Israel and Lebanon on the disputed maritime gas fields. Got very close with proposed splits of 55-60% for Lebanon and 45-40% for Israel. No one then imagined 100% to Lebanon and 0% to Israel. Would love to understand how we got here.”

“I could be wrong, but I think Israel does get zero. My understanding is that Israel gets royalties only on drilling within its own sovereign territory — that’s beyond the scope of the maritime dispute with Lebanon. As to the disputed territory, I understand Lebanon gets it all.”

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid alluded to Israeli concessions, "Over the weekend, Israel and Lebanon received the American mediator's proposal for an agreement on a maritime line between the two countries. We are discussing the final details, so it is not yet possible to praise a done deal; however, as we have demanded from the start, the proposal safeguards Israel's full security-diplomatic interests, as well as our economic interests." 

Lapid argued that ceding natural gas reserves to Lebanon would help the country become independent of Tehran, and ultimately curb the strength of groups like Hezbollah. Right-wing lawmakers blasted the planned concessions, however, with Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu calling any deal during the government’s lame duck session “illegal”. (INN / VFI News)

“Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” - Proverbs 2:9-10