Israel has agreed to a proposal to lay a pipeline for transporting natural gas between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
It is understood that talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, led by the Quartet, secured an agreement in principle from the Israel Security Cabinet, and the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources authorizing the Leviathan partners to conduct negotiations.
The Quartet is a grouping of countries and international entities established to lead mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The members of the Quartet are the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia.
The Quartet has committed itself to financing a gas pipeline to be laid by Israel up to the Gaza border. According to the proposed project, the pipeline would connect Israel to Gaza's power plant, and in this manner Israel will transfer natural gas to operate the plant and thus alleviate the crisis in the coastal territory.
The power plant currently supplies Gaza residents only eight hours of electricity a day. Approval for the route of the pipeline could take three to four years. Local sources allow another three years for the construction of the pipeline. However, according to a Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources source, if the plan is put on a very fast track, that time scale could be shortened to about three and a half years.