The long-term project to supply Gaza’s power plant with Israeli gas, hass been advanced through an agreement by Qatar, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Gaza’s electrical company, a statement said.
The statement, issued by Qatar’s envoy to the Gaza Strip, Mohammad al Emadi, stated that his country had signed a memorandum to invest $60 million to establish a pipeline to convey Israeli gas to Gaza’s power plant.
According to the statement, final agreement on the initiative – Gaza for Gaza– has not been reached and could still be months or years away.
The initiative, which was described by The Times of Israel as a complex diplomatic endeavour, involves Hamas, the PA, Qatar, Egypt and the European Union, among other players.
Gaza has been suffering from a chronic electricity deficit for more than 16 years since the Israeli bombardment of its sole power plant which runs on imported diesel fuel.
The project seeks to replace diesel fuel with gas from Israel.
Transitioning Gaza from diesel fuel to natural gas is widely viewed as an important solution to the enclave’s electricity crisis.
Gaza has a large amount of natural gas reserves, but Israel has been preventing the Palestinians from using this gas.
Under the proposal, natural gas would flow from Israel’s Leviathan gas field, which lies off Gaza’s coast. The EU and Qatar would pay for the pipeline and the gas.