Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz (Texas-R) expressed concern Sunday over an emerging deal between Israel and Lebanon, which could fix the maritime boundary between the two countries and enable Lebanon to drill natural gas reserves partially located in waters currently claimed by Israel.

Following praise for the deal from Hassan Nasrallah – chairman of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah – Cruz said he was “troubled” by the apparent pressure applied by the Biden administration on Israel to make concessions to Lebanon, and called for a congressional probe of the matter.

“I am deeply troubled that Biden officials pressured our Israeli allies to hand over their territory to the Iran-controlled terrorist group Hezbollah,” Cruz tweeted. “Another topic for the next Republican Congress to investigate.”

On Saturday, Nasrallah hailed the direction maritime border talks between Lebanon and Israel had taken, claiming they signaled a victory for Beirut.

“We are approaching decisive days. The Lebanese state is the decision-maker.”

Previously, Hezbollah had threatened to attack Israeli offshore drilling facilities that attempt to extract natural gas from any of the contested fields before a deal is reached settling the maritime border between the two countries.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid alluded to Israeli concessions, following the release of maps from the ongoing talks, which showed the boundary now under consideration farther to the south than previously accepted by Israel.

"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 said.

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”.

"If this illegal move goes through, it will not bind us."