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UAE finalises gas deal with Israel

Image of pipelines [Robin Drayton/Wikipedia]
Pipelines [Robin Drayton/Wikipedia]

The UAE appears to have finalised a deal with Israel for a "22 per cent" stake in the Tamar natural gas field off the coast of occupied Palestine, a report for the pro-Israel think tank the Washington Institute for Near East Policy claims. According to Simon Henderson, who wrote the report, the cost to the UAE is $1.025 billion.

Abu Dhabi's heavy dependence on supplies of gas from Israel is not matched by measures to compensate by seeking to implement parallel strategies, such as increasing its oil production.

Despite the Israeli military offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in May, during which at least 260 people were killed, and thousands more were wounded, the UAE has not changed its position on normalisation with the occupation state.

READ: UAE in talks to buy $1.1bn stake in Israel gas field

Indeed, as Henderson notes, "[There is] a plan for the UAE to transport petroleum products to Europe via a route that crosses Israel — namely, the pipeline that runs from the Red Sea port of Eilat to Ashkelon." This route will mean that UAE oil tankers will not have to pass through Egypt's Suez Canal. Objections have been raised within Israel about this plan.

Nevertheless, concludes Henderson, "Israel and the UAE still appear to be natural partners for shaping a viable energy future, given their similar-size populations and advanced high-tech sectors."

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