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Netanyahu accuses Lapid of surrendering to Hezbollah over Karish gas field

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on November 21, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel [Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on November 21, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel [Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]

Benjamin Netanyahu accused Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid yesterday of surrendering to threats made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah concerning the disputed Karish gas field in the Mediterranean Sea.

"Lapid totally folded in the face of Nasrallah's threats," said the Israeli opposition leader on Twitter. "He wants to hand over the gas to Lebanon, a gas field worth billions of dollars." Netanyahu claimed that Nasrallah will sell the gas and buy rockets.

"With your assistance on 1 November," said the former prime minister in a video appeal to Israeli voters, "the Likud under my leadership will replace Lapid's weak and dangerous government with a stable right-wing government for the next four years. A government that restores security and national dignity to Israel."

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Lapid responded by saying that Netanyahu's video was "terribly irresponsible" on a national level. "Complex negotiations are underway in America… This damages Israel's negotiations, and damages our security, diplomatic and economic interests."

A spokesperson for the prime minister said earlier this week that Israel believes that it is both possible and necessary to reach an agreement on the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel. "This can be done in a manner that will serve the interests of the citizens of both countries."

Indirect negotiations are ongoing to determine the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon. The Hezbollah leader has threatened to respond if Israel attempts to extract gas from the Karish field before an agreement on the border has been reached.

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