Itongadol.- Some 100 people protested Wednesday against the government\’s decision to export 40% of the country\’s natural gas.
Protesters were waving signs against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu\’s decision, dubbing him a \’thief.\’
Earlier Wednesday, Netanyahu announced the decision to export 40% of the country\’s natural gas.
The figure is lower than the 53% recommended by an inter-ministerial committee last year. The remainder is said to provide Israel with enough gas for 25 years.
Addressing the decision, Natnyahu said, "We had to create a balance between the need for natural gas for generating electricity and the need to make money from the gas. Within 20 years we will be receiving $60 billion from the export. It\’s a lot of money," the prime minister said, adding "We want to start exporting gas and reducing the economic burden."
The protesters insisted that more natural gas should be available to Israeli use. Yigal Rambam, one of the protesters, said: "Bibi\’s evaluations in planning future policies of Israeli governments have been proven as failures. Bibi\’s policy has led to a 40-billion-shekel deficit. We urge the country not to export any amount of gas for the next five years, until we can present a responsible energy plan – only then we can export."
Michal Shukrun added "What would happen in 20 years? We\’ll run out of gas and be forced to import in six times the cost. We\’ll lose billions of shekels."
She added that the treasury shelved a report that was against exporting.
According to Yael Cohen Faran with the Israel Energy Forum, profits from the exports will only arrive in 10-15 years.