Israel’s new government will re-examine a deal to ship oil from the United Arab Emirates through a top-secret Israeli pipeline that bypasses the Suez Canal, as the energy minister argues that it offers no benefit to the Israeli economy, Haaretz newspaper reported.
The agreement was signed in October 2020 by the previous government led by Benjamin Netanyahu. Environmental Affairs Minister Tamar Zandberg also opposes the deal, claiming it could cause serious ecological damage, the newspaper said Friday.
Environmental groups have already filed a court challenge against the deal, claiming it was approved without the previous cabinet’s authorization.
The deal was seen as a major dividend of the countries’ year-old normalization pact, the first between Israel and a Gulf state. Israel’s state-owned Europe-Asia Pipeline Co. and the Israeli-UAE Med-Red Land Bridge signed a memorandum of understanding to ship oil from the Gulf country to Europe and Asia via a pipeline that will link two Israeli port cities, one on the Red Sea and one on the Mediterranean.
Access to the pipeline would allow the Gulf nation to reduce its use of the more costly and time-consuming Suez Canal route.