Netanyahu Is Back. Will He Cancel the Border Demarcation Agreement?

Netanyahu Is Back. Will He Cancel the Border Demarcation Agreement?

An-Nahar, Lebanon, November 4

Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu won the election and succeeded in avenging his political defeat that led to the downfall of his previous government. But what will happen after his victory? Will he be able to form a stable government and implement his electoral promises and threats? At the outset, it must be recalled that Netanyahu vowed to cancel the agreement on the demarcation of the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon. He led a violent campaign against the agreement and described it as a concession of Israeli sovereignty to Hizbullah. Netanyahu also made sure to criticize his successor’s stance on the Iranian nuclear file, the infiltration of Iranian forces into Syria and Lebanon, and the smuggling of advanced weapons into the hands of Hizbullah. However, the maritime border with Lebanon remains the most important and recent threat, especially since the agreement was achieved and signed at the peak of Israel’s election campaign. This issue could be explosive if Netanyahu fulfills his electoral pledges. It may push Iran’s forces in Lebanon over the edge and lead to an escalation, beginning with a psychological war and continuing with an armed one. But there’s also reason to believe that Netanyahu will maintain the agreement as it stands. First, because the United States serves as a guarantor of the agreement, and any step taken by Netanyahu to withdraw from the agreement may lead to a crisis in relations between Israel and the Biden Administration. Another factor standing in Netanyahu’s way of breaking the agreement is that the Karish field has begun production, and most importantly, that Israeli society, which brought Netanyahu to power again with a clear majority, isn’t pushing for war. The right-leaning Israeli vote is directed primarily against the Palestinians. In no way does it represent a license for Netanyahu to get involved in a war over the border demarcation problem with Lebanon. The signing of an agreement to demarcate the borders between Israel and Lebanon with the permission of Iran, specifically the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, is an achievement for Israel. Therefore, it has a positive impact on Israel’s security, political, and economic interests. –Ali Hamada (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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