April 1, 2023

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Israeli "environmental" decision blocks one of the largest deals with the United Arab Emirates' allies

Israeli “environmental” decision blocks one of the largest deals with the United Arab Emirates’ allies

The Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Thursday that it would not allow oil tankers to enter the Eilat resort on the Red Sea under an agreement with Emirates’ allies to transport crude oil from the Gulf to Europe. Via Israel.

The announcement could lead to the cancellation of the deal, which Reuters says was one of the biggest deals last year as a result of the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Environmental activists have filed a petition in the Israeli Supreme Court seeking to have the deal struck down.

The agreement, signed between a state-owned company in Israel and a joint venture between Emirati and Israeli investors, transports oil from tankers in the Red Sea port of Elat to Israel, via an existing pipeline, to the Mediterranean. Beach.

Responding to a petition filed in the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Naphtali Bennett said the government would not interfere and would allow the Ministry of Environmental Protection to play its own regulatory role in curbing activities that pose a risk to the environment. Company.

“We have prevented dozens of oil tankers from entering the Gulf of Eilat,” Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Sandberg said in a statement, “Israel will not become a bridge to pollution in an era of climate crisis.”

The Israeli energy minister had earlier opposed the deal, citing environmental risks to the coral reefs in Elat.

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Eurasian Pipeline Corporation (EAPC), the Israeli state-owned company involved in the deal, said the deal “brings significant political and economic benefits to Israel and its citizens.”

It further stated that it is committed to protecting the environment and will continue to liaise with the Ministry of Environmental Protection regarding pipeline activities.

According to Reuters, there was no comment from MED-RED Landbridge, the other company involved in the deal.