Qatar: Deal Reached to Supply Israeli Natural Gas to Gaza Power Plant

Jack Khoury
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Palestinian children do their homework using a gas lamp during a power cut in Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip, in August.
Palestinian children do their homework using a gas lamp during a power cut in Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip, in August.Credit: MAHMUD HAMS / AFP
Jack Khoury

Qatar's envoy to Gaza, Mohammad al-Emadi, said Sunday that an agreement has been signed to deliver natural gas from Israel to the Gaza Strip's power station. 

In an interview with the SAWA news agency, al-Emadi said that the agreement was reached after negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Israel's Delek gas company, representatives of the Quartet on the Middle East, and other international figures. Palestinian sources do not expect Israel to oppose the move.

The negotiations produced two deals, al-Emadi said. The first deal relates to the purchase of gas between the Palestinian Authority and Delek; the second to installing the gas pipe, which will extend from the power station to an offshore gas rig.

European powers will fund the pipe's installation from the station to Gaza's maritime border to the tune of $5 million, and the Qatari government will pay for the extension of the pipeline from the border to the offshore gas rig.

The Qatari envoy noted that the construction of the gas pipeline will be completed in about 2.5 years and that the process of laying the pipeline has already begun. He added that teams are also working to deal with the technical logistics of converting the power station from diesel to natural gas.

Al-Emadi visited the Gaza Strip a few days ago and shuttled between Gaza, Ramallah and Tel Aviv. He said that the Qatari government will continue to allocate $10 million to needy families and another $10 million for the salaries of Hamas employees, up from the $7 million the Gulf state previously paid.

In addition, it will purchase diesel for the power station, and support humanitarian projects, such as a new hospital in Rafah and a dialysis institute. He stressed that the Qatari government is continuing to work in accordance with the predetermined Gaza aid plan, which allocates $360 for the strip.   

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