A man points as he stands on a tanker carrying liquified natural gas, ten miles off the coast from Hadera.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on Tuesday said that he would recuse himself from decisions regarding the gas sector, citing a conflict of interest, namely his friendship with Koby Maimon.
Maimon is the controlling shareholder at Isramco, a company that has a stake in the Tamar gas reservoir.
On Monday, Kahlon was curiously silent when Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo announced his resignation over the government’s position on overconcentration in Israel’s gas sector.
Kahlon ran on a platform of reducing market concentration and breaking monopolies.
He had specifically promised to tackle the gas market during the campaign, though his focus was generally on banking and land reforms.
Kahlon said Tuesday that he has avoided previous dealings with energy-related issues during his time as a Knesset member because of the conflict, sitting out of the Sheshinski Committee that dealt with how to tax Israel’s oil and gas. He said that he informed Gilo of the conflict last week and as a result he would not be able to discuss the issue.
Kahlon has empowered the Prime Minister’s Office to take on relevant decisions in the field.