Meretz files petition over PM gas deal signing

The Meretz party files a petition with the High Court against Netanyahu over his use of Clause 52 of the Restrictive Trade Practices (antitrust) Law to pass a controversial deal which paves the way for a consortium of Noble Energy and the Delek Group to begin work on extracting gas from the massive Leviathan gas field off Israel’s coast.

“One can argue about the deal itself, the environmental and economic implications and the protections it guarantees or does not guarantee the public in face of the huge monopoly of [Yitzhak] Tshuva [the owner of Delek Group], and Noble Energy,” a post on the party’s Facebook page reads. “But you cannot argue about the bizarre and despicable behavior, anti-democratic and doubtfully legal actions of the prime minister, who promoted this deal as if he were possessed.”

During a ceremony at the Ne’ot Hovav industrial zone near Beersheba, Netanyahu called the gas “a gift from God” and said the deal would pave the way to energy independence.

“Unfortunately, this issue has become a political and populist discussion,” he said. “This plan is vital to our security, because we don’t want to be left with one power plant that’s under fire; we need multiple gas fields.”

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