An Israeli company has agreed to supply natural gas to the Gaza Strip after Qatari envoys helped negotiate a win-win after Europe said it would help build a pipeline.
Qatari envoy to the Gaza, Mohammed al-Emadi, persuaded gas company Delek to channel some of Israel’s off-shore gas supply to a power station in the impoverished Strip, under a contract between Delek and the Palestinian Authority.
A second contract relates to the installation of the pipelines, with Al-Emadi telling Arab media that “an agreement has been reached with Europe to allocate $5 million for the assembly of gas pipelines from the border to the power station”.
He added that Qatar – having already pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into Gaza in recent years – would install pipes on the Israeli side.
Several countries have been supporting the Qatari efforts to secure gas to Gaza to help alleviate the dire economic and humanitarian situation there. Limited power supply and growing demand has exacerbated the territory’s problems.
There is only one power plant in the Strip and this is dependent on diesel from the Israel Electric Corporation, as well as from Egypt, for most of its power. Qatar buys about £5 million of fuel every month for the power station in Gaza.
The pipeline is a major infrastructure project that is expected to take a couple of years to complete. Diplomats hope that it will provide a platform on which to add yet more confidence-building measures, as the Strip seeks to rebuild after years of war.
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