Netanyahu: Utilizing Israel’s gas resources is a security issue

In a briefing to the Knesset Economy Committee Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday defended the non-application of anti-monopoly restrictions to the gas project in order to expedite the exploitation of the gas fields discovered off Israeli shores. He argued that this was a security issue because the safety of the national energy supply was at stake. Exploitation of the gas resource would also strengthen Israel diplomatically for standing up to international pressures.

Netanyahu said the rapid development of the larger Leviathan field would release gas supplies for exporting to Egypt, Jordan, Greece, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. Energy security would strengthen the stability of these moderate Arab regions. Israeli negotiators would soon leave for Cairo to discuss transactions. Netanyahu also promised that the gas would be sold to the Israel consumer at prices lower than those current in any Western country.
Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog called the government’s handling of the gas issue “amaterurish” and accused the prime minister of taking the national security issue in vain. The public briefing to the Economy Committee was a formality, following approval of the deal for the concession to the Noble-Tshuva partnership by the government and the Knesset.

A small demonstration took place outside the Knesset against the terms of the gas concession approved by the Israeli government.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Comments containing incitement, libel or offensive language are barred under DEBKAfile’s regulations

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *