Former US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker, told i24NEWS in an interview on Tuesday that the chances of an Israeli-Hezbollah confrontation "still remain very high" despite the advancement of a US-brokered maritime border agreement between Israel and Lebanon.

The proposal "does nothing to lower or alleviate tensions along the blue line where Hezbollah is digging in," Schenker told i24NEWS senior US political correspondent Mike Wagenheim.

The New Jersey native served in the position during the administration of former US president Donald Trump from 2019 to 2021, during which he was assigned as the point man on the Israel-Lebanon maritime border negotiations.

The current draft proposal was formed under the mediation of the State Department’s senior advisor for energy security, Amos Hochstein.

Schenker told i24NEWS that it appeared that Israel agreed to give the Lebanese "100 percent" of what they wanted, while pointing out that the Qana gas field that would be under control of Lebanon contains "very little reserves."

He added that the administration of US President Joe Biden can claim a foreign policy win with the deal and a success in promoting regional stability, while cautioning that questions still remain about long-term calm.

"I think the United States, even the Biden administration, is doing this out of a desire to help stabilize the region, although it is unclear if it will be the outcome," said Schenker.

The US-brokered agreement being negotiated between Israel and Lebanon has been met with criticism by the opposition in Israel, particularly from opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who once again attacked the agreement at a special press conference on Monday evening.

"The time has come to say enough, enough of this dangerous government of weakness. This weakness has only become apparent now, when Lapid surrendered to Hezbollah's threats. His agreement of surrender is illegal, and we will not be bound by it," said the opposition chairman.

Beyond the criticism of many members of the opposition, as well as that of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, the former US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, also lambasted the agreement on Monday.

“We spent years trying to broker a deal between Israel and Lebanon on the disputed maritime gas fields. Got very close with proposed splits of 55-60% for Lebanon and 45-40% for Israel. No one then imagined 100% to Lebanon and 0% to Israel. Would love to understand how we got here,” he tweeted.

“I could be wrong, [but] I think Israel does get zero. My understanding is that Israel gets royalties only on drilling within its own sovereign territory — that’s beyond the scope of the maritime dispute with Lebanon. As to the disputed territory, I understand Lebanon gets it all,” he added.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) expressed concern on Sunday over the emerging deal, saying he was “troubled” by the apparent pressure applied by the Biden administration on Israel to make concessions to Lebanon.

“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.”

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Yom Kippur in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)