Lapid lauds Lebanon deal as making war ‘less likely,’ says money will not reach Hezbollah

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Yair Lapid gives a briefing to reporters in Jerusalem on October 12, 2022. (Screenshot)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid gives a briefing to reporters in Jerusalem on October 12, 2022. (Screenshot)

At a live primetime press conference on the Lebanon-Israel maritime border deal, Prime Minister Yair Lapid says that those who oppose the deal are spreading “false, poisonous” lies, which are “mostly said by people who haven’t seen the agreement and have no clue what is in it and what is not.”

Lapid says he will invite the heads of all the opposition parties for in-depth briefings on the agreement.

The premier thanks US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron for their help in reaching the “historic” agreement.

“It is a huge achievement for Israel’s economy and security,” he says. “The agreement provides an ideal response to our security needs,” Lapid adds. “It does not preserve our security, it improves our security.”

“This agreement staves off the possibility of a military clash with Hezbollah,” says Lapid. “Israel is not afraid of Hezbollah. The IDF is stronger than any terror organization, and if we went out to battle, we would deal them a heavy blow.”

“That being said,” Lapid adds, “if it is possible to prevent war, it is the job of a responsible government to do so.”

Lapid continues that the deal “preserves the security of communities in the north as well as the freedom of action of the IDF and the Israeli Navy’s control of the area closest to the shoreline, on what is known as the Buoy Line. “

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also blasts opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu for opposing the deal for political reasons.

Most Popular