Friday, May 05, 2023

Those thieving Israelis trying to help the Palestinian economy again

Israeli and Arab media are reporting that the Israeli government is conducting secret talks with the Palestinian Authority to extract gas from the "Gaza Marine" field off the coast of Gaza.

The report stated that the Gaza Marine field was a major topic in the Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh meetings, which brought together security and political officials from the Palestinian and Israeli sides, under the auspices of the United States, and with the participation of Jordan and Egypt.

Reportedly, the current talks in this regard are being led by the head of the Israeli National Security Council, Tzachi Hanegbi and the head of COGAT, Ghasan Alyan. Israel believes that this step will benefit the Palestinians economically, which may contribute to reducing security tensions in the long term.

There are concerns that Hamas might try to shoot rockets at the field, so Egypt is trying to bring them on board the initiative. Egypt would be the official sponsor of the field as the Palestinian Authority is not a state and cannot legally negotiate directly. 

This is not really new. The Washington Post reported about this last November: The long dormant issue of gas off the Gaza coast was resurrected last year when Europe feared losing access to natural gas from the Russia/Ukraine war and started seeking alternative sources.

The current talks have been approved by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Galant. As far as I can tell, Israel is not claiming any revenues from the natural gas - the economic benefits would be towards the Palestinians and presumably Egypt, which has the facilities to convert the gas to liquefied natural gas which can be more easily transported to buyers.

As usual, this explodes the narrative of an Israel hell bent on destroying the Palestinian economy and self-rule. The truth is the opposite. But good luck finding the media mentioning that.

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