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Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL5112, tabled on 23 February 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the situation in Gaza of issues relating to the control of Gaza’s off-shore gas; and whether it is United Kingdom foreign policy to back Israeli control of that resource.

Answered on

5 March 2015

The exploitation of the Gaza gas fields would be hugely beneficial to Gazans. Gaza is currently suffering from acute shortages of energy; Gaza needs reliable sources of energy. More widely, exploiting the gas would also be hugely beneficial to the Palestinian economy, enabling the Occupied Palestinian Territories to meet their energy needs and generating revenues for the Palestinian Authority.

The UK strongly supports the development of the Gazan gas fields. Over the past years, we have had extensive discussions with the Palestinian authorities on the development of the gas fields for the benefit of the Palestinian economy. The UK is not backing Israeli control of the gas fields. We have, however, been in discussions with the Israeli authorities to encourage them to enable the exploitation of these fields.