A natural gas shortage has pushed Israel to a “natural gas emergency” and forced the government to take a step to help solve the problem, the government said Monday.
The situation in the country has “threatened the existence of Israel’s natural gas system”, said a government statement.
“The natural gas crisis has been exacerbated by the increased production and use of natural gas and the increasing demand for gas.
The Government of Israel must now act to save Israel’s gas system and to prevent its dependency on natural gas,” the statement said.
The government says it has begun the process of transferring a “strategic piece of land” to an Israeli company, and has asked a number of businesses and organizations to voluntarily submit applications for natural gas projects.
It also said the Ministry of Energy will provide financial incentives for companies that submit applications.
The ministry’s director-general, Tzachi Hanegbi, said the government has taken a “positive step” toward solving the problem.
He said the ministry has asked the Israeli Energy Authority to provide financial support for companies who have submitted their applications.
But in a statement, the ministry said that the process is still being finalised.
The Israeli Energy Agency said it had not received the government’s application.
“It is still a process, and we are still awaiting the decision of the [government],” said an agency spokeswoman, Nava Tzvi.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has also called on the government.
“We call on the authorities to provide all necessary assistance to ensure the recovery of natural resources, and to give all necessary help to the Palestinian people, and for the protection of the Palestinian citizens,” a statement from the PA’s office in Ramallah said.