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Israel: Netanyahu to postpone vote on gas compromise outline

 |  July 28, 2015

National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz, in consultation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, decided on Tuesday to postpone the vote on the controversial natural gas compromise outline slated to take place on Wednesday.

“In accordance with the advice of Deputy Attorney-General Avi Licht, due to the short time frame remaining for preparing the final outline for government approval, including rushing a special cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning, I decided in consultation with the prime minister to postpone the approval of the outline in the government and the Knesset, in order to allow a regulated discussion and government approval,” Steinitz said.

Votes on the outline in both the cabinet, and afterward in the Knesset plenum, were expected to take place on Wednesday, prior to the legislature’s summer recess. The gas compromise outline in question is the result of more than half a year of negotiations aimed at settling disputes that have largely frozen the country’s gas sector.

Negotiations on the outline have been going on since December, when Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo announced that he would review whether the market dominance of the Delek Group and Noble Energy constituted an illegal “restrictive agreement.” A series of negotiations among the gas companies and government officials followed, leading the National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry to release terms of a compromise outline to the public on June 30. Gilo announced his resignation, to take effect at the end of August, in protest against the outline.

Full content: Haaretz

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