President Shimon Peres said Sunday that it was a mistake to begin the flow of natural gas from the Tamar gas field to Israel on a Saturday.
After four years in the works, production from the deep-water field, located approximately 90 kilometers off the coast of Haifa in the Mediterranean Sea, began at 4 P.M. on Saturday. An Energy Ministry announcement was also made on Saturday.
During a visit with Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Peres hailed Israeli businessman Yitzhak Tshuva for the natural gas drilling projects. But when asked by journalists if it was necessary to begin delivering the gas on Saturday, a decision that caused uproar in the ultra-Orthodox press, he replied, “I believe it wasn’t necessary. As simple as that. I don’t know why they did it, it was a mistake.”
Rabbi Amar echoed Peres’ sentiment, expressing hope that business considerations would not supplant the importance of the holy day.
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This story "Israel Natural Gas Starts Flowing on Sabbath From Mediterranean Field" was written by Yair Ettinger (Haaretz).