Israel working with Palestinians on Gaza gas deal

Israel and one of the governing Palestinian groups are working on an agreement that would allow for natural gas exploration off the coast of Gaza in the Mediterranean Sea, according to Reuters.

Palestine is under a continual blockade both by land and by sea, making commerce a near impossibility.

However, peace envoy and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was able to negotiate with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to open up the coastal waters off the western Gaza Strip. In turn, the Palestinian Authority would collect duties on all of the natural gas produced.

"Development of the Gaza Marine gas field will generate revenues that could contribute dramatically to Palestinian fiscal sustainability," said the Israeli Foreign Ministry, according to the news source.

The biggest hold up is that the Gaza Strip is not actually under the control of the Palestinian Authority, but rather breakaway group Hamas. The two recently fought a civil war, and offshore gas exploration could exacerbate the conflict between the two.

Israel Business reports that Lithuania could begin increasing imports from Israel, providing a greater market for production from Palestinian waters.

Research on thermal power in Israel is available at PennEnergy's Research area.

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