Photo Credit: Moshe Shai / Flash 90
An aeriel view of the Israeli 'Tamar' gas processing rig 24 km off the Israeli southern coast of Ashkelon. Noble Energy and Delek are the main partners in the Tamar gas field, estimated to contain 10 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The flow of natural gas from the Tamar gas field has been suspended, it was announced Sunday.

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told reporters he ordered the suspension in gas flow in light of the current security situation in southern Israel.

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Fifty-four percent of Israel’s electricity production is from Tamar natural gas. Depending on the length of the suspension, there is a possibility that electricity rates may rise.

The flow was halted gradually, the Globes business news site reported, following an order from Steinitz, who said energy production will continue from imported natural gas brought from a floating ship, and diesel and other heavy industrial fuel, both of which are heavier and more polluting.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.