January 08, 2014

Israeli Natural Gas First Customer: Palestinian Power Company



Back in the everyday world, the "intractable" sides of an elusive peace settlement are engaged in mutually beneficial business agreements; Israel's first natural gas contract goes to the Palestinian Authority. 

Leviathan, Israel's largest natural gas offshore reserve, will supply the Palestinian Power Generation Company with fuel for a new power plant near Jenin. And not just in the short term; the agreement assures natural gas from Leviathan to the Jenin site for the next 20 years.

Also in the works is a plan to fill Jordan's energy needs. Of course, Jordan does have a peace agreement with Israel, but the advantages of Israeli supplied natural gas are notable: According to Bloomberg news, "For Jordan, which has seen fuel imports from Egypt disrupted by pipeline bombings in Sinai, deliveries from Israel would help to boost security of supply." 

It is also notable that business reporting, because it cheers for business and not for conflict news, often does not frame Israel negatively. Here, the International Business Times even includes, as an aside, the fact that the PA rather than Israel has governmental authority in the West Bank: 

Currently, the Palestinian Authority, which governs most of the Palestinian population of the West Bank, accounts for around 8 percent of Israel’s total electricity demand – and the Palestinian portion of that demand is increasing by approximately 6 percent annually, reported the Jerusalem Post.
Not only will the construction of the $300 million power plant help spur the local economy in Jenin, the new energy resource will help continue the recent economic growth in the West Bank.

The headline does have spin:  "Forget John Kerry's Shuttle Diplomacy: Israel and Palestinians Sign Historic Energy Deal."  

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