Ben-Eliezer looks to advance water project

The ministry said the two also discussed the establishment of a high-voltage line to provide electricity between Netivot and Gaza, for which Ben-Eliezer previously had given the go ahead.

By AVI KRAWITZ
November 30, 2006 07:44
1 minute read.

 
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Minister of National Infrastructure Binyamin Ben-Eliezer met with Palestinian Authority economics adviser Mohammad Mustafa last week to discuss advancing the Peace Conduit Project, aiming to transfer water between the Red and Dead Seas. The ministry said the two also discussed the establishment of a high-voltage line to provide electricity between Netivot and Gaza, for which Ben-Eliezer previously had given the go ahead. The Peace Conduit Project, which aims to link the Dead and Red Seas to replenish the shrinking Dead Sea and compensate for water shortages in the region, is being sponsored by the World Bank in its initial stages. A spokesperson for the ministry said approximately 60 percent of the water supply from the project would go to Jordan and the remainder between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The World Bank is conducting a feasibility survey to check the effects of the project on the environment and what is required for its planning, which is expected to continue through a two-year period. Mustafa had been identified by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas to head the project from the Palestinian side at the encouragement of a Jordanian and World Bank delegation after the Palestinian's involvement was delayed with the election of Hamas to the Palestinian Authority government and Israel's subsequent refusal to deal with them. The World Bank has raised NIS 9 million of the NIS 15m. required for the feasibility survey with contributions from Japan, the US, France and Holland and is recruiting the involvement of Sweden, Spain, England and Germany to cover the rest. Ben-Eliezer is scheduled to meet in December on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea for the launch of the survey.

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