Netanyahu Says Natural Gas Plan Vital to Israel’s Existence
JNS.org – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared Tuesday before the Knesset’s Economics Committee, which discussed a proposed natural gas industry framework deal, and explained the importance and contribution multiple production sites would have to Israel’s energy and national security.
The proposed outline seeks to regulate the development, harvesting, and royalties pertaining to the Leviathan, Tamar, Tanin, and Karish offshore fields, as well as any future natural gas finds.
Netanyahu, who is also the acting economy and trade minister, appeared before the committee to answer its questions on whether the government should be allowed to exercise a controversial article in Israel’s Antitrust Law that would allow it to circumvent the Antitrust Authority’s concerns on the matter.
“Suppose Israel had only one power plant, like the Rabin Power Plant in Hadera, for example,” Netanyahu said. “We have 15 power plants, but suppose there was only one. I promise you we would guard it with everything we have, because if it’s crippled, the entire country shuts down.”
The Hadera power plant, one of the biggest in central Israel, “was the target of direct rocket fire, as were others [power plants], and as we all know, this rocket fire will only become more sophisticated,” said the prime minister.
“We know how to defend these sites, but just imagine we pool everything at one site, one power plant. That’s irresponsible and very dangerous….None of us thinks concentrating all of our power plants in one place is wise. The same goes for the offshore gas rigs. If the gas supply is compromised the entire country could be crippled. The gas rigs are very vulnerable, much more vulnerable that having a pipeline running over a gas field—they’re a prime target,” he added.