The cabinet meeting Wednesday
The cabinet meeting WednesdayAmos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israel’s security cabinet voted Wednesday afternoon to back the maritime boundary deal with Lebanon, sending the tentative agreement to the full cabinet for ratification.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid convened the meeting of the security cabinet Wednesday morning to deliberate on the final draft of the maritime border deal brokered by the Biden administration.

"There is importance and urgency in reaching the maritime agreement between Israel and Lebanon, at this time. The members of the Security Cabinet express their support for the Government of Israel to advance the agreement," Lapid said at the meeting.

Along with Lapid, Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett joined the security cabinet meeting, along with ministers including Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Finance Minister Avidgor Liberman, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, and Energy Minister Karine Elharrar.

Shaked voted against, while Bennett backed the agreement, even as he downplayed its significance.”

“This is neither a time for a victory lap nor for lamenting, as if this were some kind of catastrophe,” Bennett said. “This agreement is not a historic diplomatic victory, but at the same time it is not a terrible defeat. This is a necessary arrangement, made obligatory by the situation we are in, with problematic timing.”

“Unfortunately, even this meeting on an important security issue for Israel, based on strategic needs, was carried out with political considerations mixed in, from all sides. As someone with no political interests, I learned the subject in depth and I made my decision responsibly.”

Aside from Shaked's nay and Minister Yoaz Hendel's abstention, the vote in the security cabinet was unanimous.

With the security cabinet’s backing, the deal is expected to easily pass in the full cabinet.

Despite pressure from the Opposition to bring the deal to a vote in the full Knesset, the government will only allow the Knesset to review the agreement, but without holding a vote on the matter.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara said Tuesday that the government should bring the agreement before the full Knesset for a vote, but ruled that the cabinet can ratify the deal without Knesset approval.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced that Israel had reached an agreement with Lebanon.

“This is an historic achievement that will strengthen Israel’s security, inject billions into Israel’s economy, and ensure the stability of our northern border,” Lapid said.