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Green groups pull petition after ministry told it has authority to oppose UAE pipeline deal

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Israelis at a Red Sea beach close to the Europe Asia Pipeline Company's oil terminal in Eilat, southern Israel, February 10, 2021. (Menaham Kahana/AFP)
Israelis at a Red Sea beach close to the Europe Asia Pipeline Company's oil terminal in Eilat, southern Israel, February 10, 2021. (Menaham Kahana/AFP)

Three environmental organizations withdraw their petition to the High Court of Justice, claiming victory in a long-running campaign to stop an oil deal between a state company and an Israeli-Emirati business consortium.

The development comes after the State Attorney’s Office told the court that in the Justice Ministry’s view, the Environmental Protection Ministry has full authority to work against the state-owned Europe Asia Pipeline Company, which wants to transfer Gulf oil overland from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.

The ministry opposes the deal, saying it will not approve anything that endangers the ecologically sensitive Gulf of Eilat, which is home to corals of world importance.

The petition was submitted by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Adam Teva V’Din and Zalul.

The deal has aroused massive opposition and weekly demonstrations throughout Israel.

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