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Israel approves Gaza Strip pipeline

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World Pipelines,

Israeli and Palestinian leaders have recently reached an agreement, which will move forward plans to build a natural gas pipeline from Israel into the Gaza Strip, reports The Times of Israel, and The Jewish Press.

The Times of Israel stated that a source told the news agency that Palestinian officials were informed that Israeli authorities had given the project its approval.

This deal and pipeline project marks an attempt to enhance energy and water supplies to the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, since, at present Gaza faces a severe energy shortage. Local authorities are currently using an 8 hr on, 8 hr off electricity rationing system, which relies entirely on the only power plant in Gaza.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, commented: “We want to help the population of Gaza and the first step is to improve the supply of energy and water […] including laying a gas pipeline” during a recent visit to the Netherlands.

The next step requesting funds, for which the Palestinians are approaching a number of donor countries. The Israeli government informed the Palestinian authorities that it has approved the arrangement and invited them to join an Israeli delegation, which would appeal to the donor nations conference in New York at the end of this month, requesting the required funding for the pipeline project.

However, it has already been confirmed that the agreed to help Israel build the Israel-Gaza pipeline, earlier this month. Moreover, the Mideast Quartet - the US, UN, EU and Russia – have been working alongside the Netherlands to launch a feasibility study on the pipeline.

A document fro the Quartet stated: “[It has] initiated a feasibility study for a natural gas pipeline to Gaza […] [which] will take the project from the conceptual stage to the implementation stage.”

The agreement is just one of several agreements between Israel and Palestine. Other economic deals include the signing of an agreement to manage Palestinian debt of US$530 million to the Israel Electric Company, alongside the signing of agreements to upgrade postal service systems and 3G cell phone technology.

Edited from various sources by Anna Nicklin

Sources: The Times of Israel,, The Jewish Press

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