Palestinians Protest Gas Deal With Israel

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

The Palestinian boycott of Israel is demanding that the Palestinian Authority renege on an agreement to buy natural gas from Israel that was signed more than a year ago, Haaretz reported on Thursday.

At a press conference in Ramallah, they demanded cancelation of the January 2014 deal between the Palestine Power Generation Company and the Delek-Noble Energy partnership.

The boycott leaders argued that it would be self-defeating to cooperate with Israel, which they views as an “occupier.”

“It’s not logical for a group of people making money from commissions and brokerage fees to make a deal to import gas from the occupier,” Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said. “It’s a national and strategic mistake.”

But whatever the political correctness, the boycotters are up against the PA and powerful Palestinian companies like Padico Holding and the semiofficial Palestinian Investment Fund. Both are investors in Palestine Power Generation, which plans to build a large power station in the Jenin area.

The Israeli deal with the Palestinians calls for the sale of $1.2 billion in natural gas from the Tamar oil field over 20 years.

A parallel move is afoot in Jordan, where activists are pressuring the Jordanian Parliament to void the Jordanian-Israeli gas deal and are planning to demonstrate against it on March 6.

They said they are working together to offset the heavy pressure that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is exerting on both Jordan and the PA to buy Israeli natural gas.

Israel has a $15 billion deal to sell gas to Jordan from the Leviathan field over 15 years.