The private firms did 100% of the gas exploration and they will be the ones bringing the stuff up so its only right they get their share of the profits. One of the conditions these companies have made is that Israel agree to make a certain percentage of the gas available for export not just for domestic needs. Whilst the gas belongs to the state the state did not take any risks at all or invest a single shekel of tax money so we are not in a position to dictate very strict terms, if we want to decide how the gas is used then it needs to be taxpayers who take the financial risk. Before we start worrying about profits we may find ourselves at war with Hezbollah over this gas. They claim the gas is in Lebanese territorial waters and they will not let Israel steal Lebanons gas and we say its in Israeli territorial waters and we are not going to let Lebanon take any of it. The Lebanese government seem to have backed down on initial claims it belongs to Lebanon but Hezbollah have not so we may well have to fight another very bloody war with Lebanon before we get our gas. Now we have finally started bringing the stuff up it may well get the Hezbollah war drums beating as its no longer about the theory now Israel is pumping what they believe is Lebanese gas so we better prepare for war before profit and so we also need to start increasing the navies budget rather than cutting it, they are under equipped as it all and their warships are getting very old ( the youngest are the 3 SAAR 5 corvettes which are nearly 25 years old ) many are being decommissioned and not replaced because they are not being given the money to do so. We can't keep asking the navy to do more and more with less and less.
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from the article: Lessons of Israel’s natural gas