Israel is prepared to sign a $4 billion deal with the British-Based BG corporation to supply Palestinian Authority (PA) off-shore gas, the Times of London reported. It said the Foreign Ministry wants to conclude the deal "as soon as possible."
The government increasingly has been pursuing a policy led by Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres that business deals with the PA will help bring peace, directly opposite to statements by former prime Ariel Sharon that Israel never would buy gas from the PA. BG vice president Nigel Shaw stated, "This is a chance for greater economic prosperity in Palestine and that is only good for peace.”
The deal would leave the PA with $1 billion in royalties in return for supplying Israel with 10 percent of its annual energy needs. The gas is to be transported to the port city of Ashkelon.
One sticking point that may delay the deal is Israel's demand that revenues not go to the Hamas faction.