A report Tuesday by the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat news outlet claims that Egypt has persuaded Israel to extract natural gas from a Mediterranean gas field off the coast of Gaza.
Sources confirmed to the news outlet there are external pressures linked to a European need for natural gas due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The gas field was discovered 36 kilometers west of Gaza City in 2000 by the British Gas Company and its partners. The field has remained untapped due to ongoing attempts by Gaza terrorists to receive weapons by sea from Iran and elsewhere, and attempt to reach the Jewish State via the Mediterranean to carry out terror attacks.
Two wells were drilled that same year – Marine Gaza 1 and Marine Gaza 2 – and the field was estimated to contain about 1.4 trillion cubic feet of the precious resource; enough for Gaza and the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria for the next 15 years, Al-Sharq reported.
Sources confirmed to the news outlet that Israel has now agreed to extract natural gas from the field after months of secret bilateral talks.
Talks aimed at developing the gas field are reported to be currently underway between the Palestine Investment Fund and the Consolidated Contractors Group with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).
An Egyptian source confirmed to the AFP news agency that Cairo is “conducting contacts with all parties, including Israel, to develop and benefit from the Gaza gas field,” which he added would “support the Palestinian economy.”
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, another Iranian proxy, has said, however, that the Palestinian Authority cannot be entrusted with the project, and insists on being involved, with some of the gas revenues being used to improve living conditions in the enclave.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said in a speech opening the government session on Monday in Ramallah that a ministerial team is being formed to follow up on the issue.
“We want an agreement that serves our national rights and capabilities and benefits our people,” Shtayyeh was quoted as saying. He added that Muhammad Mustafa – the head of the Palestinian Authority Investment Fund – and his team are negotiating with Egypt to conclude an agreement on extracting the resource.