'Israel in danger of turning into an oligarchy with government backing,' Meretz chief says

June 27, 2015 18:22
1 minute read.


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Meretz head Zehava Gal-On plans to attend a protest rally in Tel Aviv on Saturday against the government’s compromise with an energy conglomerate extracting natural gas off Israel’s coast in the Mediterranean.

Although government officials stood by their decision to advance the natural-gas compromise deal through the security cabinet on Thursday, members of the opposition slammed the move as capitulation to corporate demands.

Members of the security cabinet unanimously deemed the natural-gas issue a matter of national security, enabling a compromise outline formulated by government officials and the natural-gas companies to move to the full cabinet for final authorization. The fate of Israel’s gas resources has been in question since December 2014, when Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo announced that he would be examining whether the stronghold of the Delek Group and Noble Energy in the sector constitutes a “restrictive agreement.”

“The decision on the gas compromise needs to be made in the Knesset, not the government,” Gal-On said. “It’s the Knesset that protects the public interest.”

“This isn’t just an economic battle over the high prices that all of us will pay and the money that we will receive or won’t receive for the gas that belongs to all of us,” she said. “This is a battle against Israel becoming an oligarchy in which a mighty monopoly sits on the country’s resources and gets backing from the government.”

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