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Qatar, PA ink deal to supply Gazan power plant with Israeli natural gas

A picture shows a power generating facility in the middle of the Gaza Strip on August 17, 2020. (Mohammed ABED / AFP)
A picture shows a power generating facility in the middle of the Gaza Strip on August 17, 2020. (Mohammed ABED / AFP)

Qatar, the Palestinian Authority and Gaza’s electrical company sign a deal to advance a long-term project to supply Gaza’s only power plant with Israeli natural gas.

Qatar’s envoy to the Gaza Strip, Mohammad al-Emadi, says that today’s memorandum contains a pledge to invest $60 million in laying the pipeline for the proposed project.

The so-called Gas for Gaza initiative is a complex diplomatic dance, involving Israel, Hamas, the PA, Qatar, Egypt and the European Union, among other players. But the basic idea is simple: to replace the diesel fuel that currently powers Gaza’s electrical plant with Israeli gas.

Under the proposal, natural gas will flow from Israel’s Leviathan gas field, which lies off Gaza’s coast, to a power station in southern Israel. The EU and Qatar will then fund extensions to the pipeline to Gaza’s power plant.

The project has been in the works for years, and has been repeatedly delayed due to wars between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers. In February, al-Emadi said he hoped a final deal could be reached soon, only to see another battle between Israel and Hamas break out a few months later, in May.

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