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Palestinian factions call on PA to cancel gas agreement with Israel

February 20, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Five Palestinian factions yesterday demanded the Palestinian unity government cancel the gas agreement signed with Israel early last month, the Anadolu Agency reported.

A joint statement signed by the Popular Fronts, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the People’s Party, the National Initiative and the Palestinian Democratic Union said: “The agreement signed by the Palestinian government earlier this year to import gas from Israel provokes widespread public outrage and opposes Palestinian public opinion.”

The statement pointed out that the agreement, which extends for 20 years, disregards the national efforts that have been agreed upon which call to resort to the international community in order to end the Israeli occupation within a timeframe that does not exceed two years.

“The agreement in its current draft allows the Israeli gas companies to become a partner in the Jenin power plant which will generate power for the north of the West Bank which leads to deepening Palestinian economic dependency on the Israeli economy, at a time when the objective is to strengthen Palestinian economic independence,” it said.

The factions called on the government to cancel the agreement which they described as “degrading”, and to hold those who signed it accountable since they did not present it to the competent legislative bodies to ratify it.

The statement stressed on the need to “stop similar reckless decisions which violently shake the credibility of the national positions which aim to face the Israeli occupation and impose international isolation on it and hold its leaders accountable for the war crimes they commit against the Palestinian people.”

Earlier this year the Palestinian Energy Minister Omar Katana signed a preliminary agreement to import 4.75 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Israel to the Palestinian territories for 20 years at the cost of $1.2 billion.