Gaza, ALRAY - The first customer to sign up to buy gas from Israel’s so-called Leviathan field is the Palestine Power Generation Company, which is developing an electric power plant near Jenin, Israeli daily reported on Monday.
Haaretz said “Three partners in Leviathan told the (Tel Aviv) Stock Exchange on Sunday that PPGC had agreed to buy $1.2 billion worth of gas over a 20-year period that will begin when the field begins producing,”
PPGC is constructing a $300 million, 200-megawatt power plant that will take 30 months to complete. It is controlled by the Palestine Electric Company but counts other shareholders as well, according to the daily.
Under the gas-export policy established by the Israeli [occupation] government, gas sold to the PA and to Jordan will be considered part of Leviathan’s export quota. All told, 40% of Israel’s natural gas can be exported under the rules approved by the cabinet last year.
Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday evening that it signed an agreement to import natural gas from Israel worth 1.2 billion dollars for the 20 years to come.
President of the Energy Authority in the Palestinian government in Ramallah Omar Katana told Anadula Agency in a phone call that under the agreement signed today, Monday, in Jerusalem, the Palestinian side shall be provided with an amount of 4.75 billion cubic meters of natural gas for the next twenty years to come.
Katana refused to give additional details about when to start importing the natural gas, how the gas shipments would be financed, and what to do with Gaza Marine gas field off the Gaza shores.
The agreement is in contrast to previous statements by Ramallah Prime Minister Ramy al-Hamdulillah, in which he emphasized that “Palestine will be a productive exporter of gas by 2017, by virtue of the newly discovered field off the coast of Gaza at the end of 1990s,”
The Abbas-appointed government according to Hamdulillah has held several meetings over the past months with British Gas Company, the concessionaire which shall develop the Gaza gas field discovered in 1998.
Hamdulillah expected nearly two months ago that the annual net profit of the Palestinian Authority that may come out of gas production and export to be some $150 million, which would have reduced foreign aid dependency.
“Israel Electric Corporation” announced in late November 2013 that the amount of natural gas in the field off the coast of Gaza exceeds 33 billion cubic meters.
The amount existing in the field, if extracted, would fully serve the needs of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for 25 years to come, and these of Israel for five years, according to the Israeli corporation.
The Palestinian government in Gaza said no people can agree that his natural resources are exploited by an occupying power.
Commenting on Ramallah government’s decision to buy natural gas from Israel, Spokesman of the Palestinian Government Mr Ihab al-Ghusain said it is unwise.
Ghusain pointed out that the agreement serves only the Israeli interests and emphasizes Israeli occupation’s control of the Palestinian natural resources.
“Israel is an occupying power which has been long disrespecting the international resolutions ensuring the protection of Palestinian rights to the resources of their country,” referring to the last UNGA draft resolution which affirmed the Palestinian right to self-determination.
He called for putting the UN resolution into force and holding Israel accountable for its violations of the Palestinian people’s rights.
On November, 2013, The United Nations General Assembly approved a draft resolution, demanding Israel to exploiting, depleting and endangering the natural resources in the occupied Arab.