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Hamas says it will not block Gaza natural gas deal

GAZA, June 22 (REUTERS) — The Islamist group Hamas said it will not hin­der plans to drill for nat­ur­al gas off the shores of the Gaza Strip after it took con­trol of the coastal ter­ri­to­ry a week ago, a Hamas offi­cial said on Fri­day.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas offi­cial, said the group would not block an agree­ment between British gas pro­duc­er BG Group Plc and the Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty to drill for reserves dis­cov­ered off Gaza­’a coast in 2000.

But Hamas would like to change some parts of the deal — reached between BG and the Pales­tine Invest­ment Fund (PIF), which is con­trolled by Pales­tin­ian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Abbas — that Abu Zuhri said “harm Pales­tin­ian inter­ests”.

Hamas rout­ed the West­ern-backed Abbas’s Fatah fac­tion dur­ing a bloody takeover of Gaza.

Under the cur­rent agree­ment, BG plans to sell the nat­ur­al gas to Israel. Britain and oth­er West­ern coun­tries have iso­lat­ed Hamas because of its refusal to rec­og­nize Israel and renounce vio­lence.

“There will not be a prob­lem to coop­er­ate with the British com­pa­ny, but it is impor­tant to recon­sid­er some things in this mat­ter,” Abu Zuhri said.

In Decem­ber 2000, BG com­plet­ed drilling a nat­ur­al gas well off­shore Gaza indi­cat­ing pos­si­ble reserves of around 1.4 tril­lion cubic feet, which the PIF said has an esti­mat­ed val­ue of $1.3 bil­lion.

BG was unavail­able for com­ment.

“It is pre­ma­ture to dis­cuss whether Hamas wants to begin direct nego­ti­a­tions with the British com­pa­ny over drilling nation­al gas off Gaza shores,” Abu Zuhri said. But added, “We do not want to over­turn exisit­ing sit­u­a­tions.”


One comment for “Hamas says it will not block Gaza natural gas deal”

  1. Is this some sort of new form of sui­cide attack?

    Jerusalem Post
    Hamas: We attempt­ed to hit the nuclear reac­tor in Dimona
    LAST UPDATED: 07/09/2014 20:01
    3 rock­ets fired at Negev city which con­tains Israel’s nuclear reac­tor; 2 fall in open areas, one inter­cept­ed

    Three rock­ets were launched at Dimona in south­ern Israel on Wednes­day after­noon. The Iron Dome inter­cept­ed one rock­et before it could land, while two oth­er rock­ets land­ed in open areas.

    Dimona is the loca­tion of Israel’s nuclear reac­tor. There was no indi­ca­tion that rock­ets dam­aged any part of the reac­tor.

    Hamas claimed respon­si­bil­i­ty for the rock­ets, stat­ing that it had been attempt­ing to hit the nuclear reac­tor.

    Mil­i­tants from Hamas’s Qas­sam Brigades said they had launched long-range M‑75 rock­ets towards Dimona.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 9, 2014, 12:25 pm

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