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Outlines of a Grand Deal - Israel, Egypt, Gaza - taking shape

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01/07/2009 03:36 PM
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Outlines of a Grand Deal - Israel, Egypt, Gaza - taking shape
Outlines of a Grand Deal - Israel, Egypt, Gaza - taking shape
Marian Houk
March 20, 2008
An intriguing story in Haaretz today reports that Israeli and Egyptian representatives have "agreed in principle Wednesday to a deal that would have Egypt replace Israel as the Gaza Strip's sole electricity provider". The story also states that "Israeli security sources said the infrastructure minister and the Defense Ministry have been in talks with Egypt for a long time. The deal won the approval of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who is interested in severing ties with Gaza".

There is almost nobody who wouldn´t be pleased by such a deal.

Contacted by this reporter, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Infrastructure, said Thursday morning that he had tried to check the Haaretz report but so far "We don´t know anything about it" – though, he added, the Haaretz journalists who wrote the story are good reporters.

But, as the spokesperson confirmed, the deal is actually between Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. And it was originally reported by this reporter last December ("Palestinian Authority struggles with Gaza sanctions", 10 December 2007, [link to www.americanchronicle.com]
It is not clear what role, if any, Israel would have in the deal – though the Israeli government would clearly have a great interest in being kept informed.

Dr. Omar Kittaneh, head of the Palestinian Energy Authority in Ramallah, told this reporter in early December that Egypt has agreed to build new lines with a capacity to carry up to 300 MW of electricity. "We´re expecting the line to be in operation at the beginning of 2009″, he said.

This could theoretically be enough to supply all the electricity needs of the Gaza Strip — though, Dr. Kittaneh noted carefully, "there are no commitments yet about the amount of electricity that will be supplied, only about the line capacity".

Dr. Kittaneh was in meetings in Cairo on Thursday.

The Haaretz story today says that "Under the deal, Egypt would set up a new power line from the Sinai Peninsula town of Arish to the nearby Gaza Strip. The 150-megawatt line would cost $35 million to set up, and would be operational within two years".

If that is the case, Egypt will not be supplying all of Gaza´s electricity – for the present demand in the Gaza Strip is for some 240 MW of electricity per day.

But, because of the Israeli fuel sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip on 28 October, and electricity cuts that went into effect on 7 February, Gaza has been getting something like 20% percent less than that – or, not more than 200 MW on a good day.

However, it now appears the Israeli military-ordered electricity cuts, which were approved by the Israeli Supreme Court on 27 January, and went into effect on 7 February, were a bad idea. The electricity cuts appear to have been rescinded.

In fact, Israel now appears to be providing more electricity to Gaza than previously.

Continued at link --> [link to www.americanchronicle.com]

Last Edited by Chip on 01/09/2013 08:03 PM
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/07/2009 03:37 PM
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Re: Outlines of a Grand Deal - Israel, Egypt, Gaza - taking shape
Palestine studies Kirkuk-Gaza pipeline project

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Ramallah, 24 September 2005 ( Arabic Al Mada )

Mohamed Ashtiyah, Palestinian housing and general works minister, announced that the Palestinian authority is studying a project for establishing a pipeline that connects Kirkuk to Gaza Strip for transporting Iraqi oil to Palestinian lands.

Mohamed Ashtiyah said to France press, "There are surveys for the competent parties and we are optimistic." He said, "The project is at the cost of one billion dollars. The donor countries do not have a problem in financing such a project." He pointed out, "According to the studies that we have, oil can be exported from Kirkuk to Gaza harbor through a pipe, which is 1200 miles long and at the capacity of 500,000 barrels a day."

The Palestinian authority intends to establish a harbor on the Mediterranean Sea in Gaza Strip, which the Israeli army has fully withdrawn from it on September 12, after 38 years of occupation.

Ashtiyah confirmed, "Establishing the pipeline needs 36 months, in case all parties agreed. It would provide Gaza Strip, the western bank and Jordan with oil, in addition to Israel, which would (certainly benefit) from going through its lands."

The minister did not point out whether the pipeline would also be used for exporting Iraqi oil to other countries from the new Gaza harbor. He confirmed, "There were attempts for the revival of the oil pipeline between Kirkuk and Haifa. There is a possibility for connecting Kirkuk to the Palestinian lands after the Israeli withdrawal."

Article originally published in the Arabic Al Mada daily and was translated to English by Almendhar.com

[link to www.iraqupdates.com]
User ID: 456207
01/07/2009 03:46 PM
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Re: Outlines of a Grand Deal - Israel, Egypt, Gaza - taking shape
Interesting development, well only if it's not just distracting tactics.

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01/07/2009 04:07 PM
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Re: Outlines of a Grand Deal - Israel, Egypt, Gaza - taking shape
Link to yesterday's (jan 6) security council meeting (summary):

[link to www.un.org]

Today's work in progress on the situation (summary):

[link to www.un.org]
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