Palestine Power Generation Company withdraws from Israel gas deal
Occupied Palestine, 4 March 2015 -- The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) welcomes the announcement by the board of directors of the Palestine Power Generation Company (PPGC) about the company's "withdrawal a few months ago from the agreement with the developers of the [Israeli] Leviathan natural gas field" and the emphasis instead on using the "Palestinian natural gas off the coast of Gaza, out of its commitment to "national independence in the energy sector."
PPGC had signed in early 2014 a memorandum of understanding with the Israeli-American "Delek-Noble" consortium to buy "Israeli gas" for the planned power plant near Jenin in the occupied Palestinian territory for a period of 20 years, at $ 1.2 billion.
The BNC, the largest coalition in Palestinian society and the reference for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, considered this MOU as a strategic mistake that would further entrench Palestinian economic dependency on Israel and legitimize prospective Israeli gas deals with other Arab countries, particularly Jordan and Egypt.
In the absence of any public position by the Palestine company in regard to cancelling the deal with Israel, the BNC held a press conference on February 17, 2015 with the participation of leading political, legislative and civil society figures, demanding that the company and the Palestinian Authority end all efforts to import Israeli gas on national and strategic, economic and security grounds.
After the BNC press conference, key Palestinian business and political figures added their voices to those calling for the cancellation of the Israeli gas deal, a demand that has won wide popular support as well.
The BNC reiterates its principled and unwavering support for the large alliance in Jordan calling for cancelling efforts by the Jordanian government to import Israeli gas. This Jordanian alliance, in which Jordan BDS plays a pivotal role, has mobilized support from all the major trade unions, a majority of members of parliament and leading activists and civil society organizations against the gas deal with Israel.
The BNC also confirms that ending the Palestinian gas deal with Israel pulls the rug from under the feet of any Jordanian official supporting the purchase of "Israeli gas" under the pretext of "we shall not be more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves."
Mahmoud Nawajaah, BNC General Coordinator, commented: "The import of Israeli gas would contribute to entrenching our economic dependency on Israel and strengthen the Israeli economy at a time when Israel's international isolation is growing."
He added, "Israel is facing growing boycotts and divestments in the academic, cultural and even economic spheres with the steady and impressive mainstream spread of the global BDS movement. We appeal to our brethren in Egypt and Jordan to stop the Israeli gas import negotiations to deprive the Israeli regime of occupation and apartheid of this strategic windfall. "