The Israeli Government has issued preliminary approval for the development of the Gaza Marine project 30km off the coast of the Gaza Strip in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The field is located offshore Gaza, a Palestinian enclave that is controlled by Hamas, reported Xinhua via China.org.cn.
A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office read: “As part of the ongoing processes between the State of Israel and Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, with an emphasis on the development of the Palestinian economy and maintaining security stability in the region, it was decided to advance the development of the gas field in front of Gaza (Gaza Marine).”
Netanyahu’s office said the project implementation would require security coordination with neighbouring Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.
The development of the Gaza Marine field, which was discovered by British Gas (BG) in 2000, has been delayed due to conflict between Israel and Palestine, economic factors and political disputes.
As per the estimates, the Gaza Marine field holds more than one trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
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One Palestinian official told Reuters: “We are waiting to know what exactly the Israelis have agreed to in details. We can’t make a position based on a statement to the media.”
Hamas official Ismail Rudwan was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We reaffirm that our people in Gaza have the rights to their natural resources.”