At its regular Sunday meeting on June 23, the Cabinet decided to authorize the retention of 60 percent of the country’s natural gas reserves, or 540 billion cubic meters (BCM), for domestic use, with the remaining 40 percent to be exported.

The decision was carried by a vote of 18 to 3, with only Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, Communications Minister Gilad Erdan and Health Minister Yael German opposing the move. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision would meet Israel’s natural gas needs for the next 29 years, and also add $60 billion in tax and royalty revenues over the coming two decades.


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