Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Israeli Cabinet Gives Government Control Over Natural Gas

The Israeli Cabinet voted to transfer to the government control over the development of natural gas, calling it a matter of national security.

On Sunday, the Cabinet voted to allow the government to override the Antitrust Authority, which objects to the current draft agreement between the Israeli government and the gas companies, U.S.-based Noble Energy and Israeli-owned Delek Group. The full Knesset will vote on Monday.

“I am determined to advance a realistic solution that will bring gas to the Israeli economy,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the Cabinet meeting. “I will not capitulate to populist proposals that will leave the gas deep underground. We have already seen enough countries that succumbed to these pressures and the gas has remained in the ground. This cannot be allowed to happen here.”

The Cabinet move comes days after the security Cabinet unanimously approved the expedited development and expansion of the natural gas fields that have been discovered off Israel’s coast.

Also Sunday, Israel’s deputy attorney general found that Netanyahu could continue overseeing natural gas regulating, despite a letter sent to the prime minister in July 2014 by American supporter Sheldon Adelson that urged him to consider “streamlining the regulation of hydrocarbons in Israel.”

Haaretz first reported on the potential conflict on Friday.

Netanyahu responded to the report in a Facebook post.

“I do not work for any tycoon – I’m the prime minister of Israel and I work for you, for the security of the State of Israel and the welfare of all of its citizens,” he wrote. “During the election I pledged to work to reduce the cost of living. I am determined to do this through the many resources we will gain through [implementation of] the gas draft. The draft dismantles the monopoly and will bring over the coming decades hundreds of millions of shekels for education, welfare and health for all the citizens of Israel.”

The Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu never discussed policies related to natural gas with Adelson, either directly or indirectly, according to Haaretz.

On Saturday night, thousands of Israelis protested in Saturday night against the potential deal between the government and the gas companies.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.