'I'm not funding Hezbollah' - Lapid fires back at Netanyahu

Netanyahu posted a video saying that the deal, which the US is in the midst of brokering, would allow funding to Hezbollah and increase the attack against Israel.

 Israeli foreign minister and Head of the Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid walks next to Head of opposition and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu at the assembly hall for a special session in memory of Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, on November 8, 2021.  (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Israeli foreign minister and Head of the Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid walks next to Head of opposition and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu at the assembly hall for a special session in memory of Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, on November 8, 2021.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

UNITED NATIONS – Prime Minister Yair Lapid went head to head with his chief political rival, Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, over the almost completed negotiations to set a maritime border with Lebanon to allow for the peaceful production of natural gas from the Karish rig.

Netanyahu charged in a scathing video that the deal, which the United States is in the midst of brokering, would allow money to flow to the terrorist group Hezbollah, which operates in Lebanon from where it launches attacks against Israel.

Lapid's response to Netanyahu's video

“Netanyahu’s statement is terribly irresponsible,” Lapid said from New York, a day prior to his scheduled speech before the General Assembly. He charged that Netanyahu had “harmed the Israeli government’s negotiations as well as our security, political, and economic interests,” and that Israel in is the midst of “a very complex and advanced negotiation. I gave our negotiation teams very clear parameters in coordination with the defense minister with regard to what are our security, political and economic needs.”

 Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Prime Minister Yair Lapid to receive a briefing on the ongoing Operation Breaking Dawn, August 7, 2022 (credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO) Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Prime Minister Yair Lapid to receive a briefing on the ongoing Operation Breaking Dawn, August 7, 2022 (credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

Lapid said he is hopeful that a deal will be reached that would maintain those parameters, but if not, “Israel is strong and knows how to defend itself.”

On Wednesday morning, the US negotiating team sat separately with the Israelis and then with the Lebanese, Lapid said.

“Complex negotiations are under way in the US,” Lapid said, noting that Netanyahu “doesn’t know the details because he didn’t receive a security update.”

Lapid said that when he had led the opposition, he had not behaved that way.