Gas struggle: MK Khenin calling on the Energy Minister to stop playing with numbers

Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom intends to set the maximum natural gas export allocation at 40 percent rather than the expected 53% figure, he told Channel 2 on Wednesday night. As companies continue to explore and drill through Israel’s eastern Mediterranean waters, export allowances have become a topic of social struggle across the country. Although the Zemach Committee – headed by Energy and Water Ministry Director-General Shaul Zemach – recommended a maximum export allocation this fall, the government has yet to officially approve any export policy. The Zemach Committee have been under constant criticism from environmentalists, social activists and Hadash members who say that much more of the resource is needed at home.

A demonstration in Jerusalem against the export of gas (Photo: Green Course)

MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) slammed the new proposal, calling on the Energy and Water Minister to “stop playing with numbers and return to talk about principles.” Such a decision needs to be discussed in the Knesset and needs to be a transparent matter with public input, Khenin explained. Presenting this reduction of percentages as a “social” decision is false, since export percentage can only be relevant once Israel knows exactly how much gas it has, added Amit Bracha, executive director of Adam Teva V’Din (Israel Union for Environmental Defense). “This discourse is not about amounts of percentages of gas that Israel will export, but is a substantive issue of who owns Israeli gas,” a statement from the Struggle for the Preservation of Israeli Gas movement.


Protest against lapids neo liberal measures

MK Khenin against capitalists over issue of exporting natural gas