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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:15, June 27, 2007
Hamas to change British Gas contract over Gaza gas: report
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An official with the sacked Hamas-led Palestinian government on Tuesday revealed intentions to change a previous contract with a British energy group to sell offshore Gaza natural gas.

"The government has no problem to cooperate with British Gas ( BG) company after modifying some points of the 1999 contract," Mohammed al-Madhoun, director of sacked Prime Minister Ismail Haneya's office, told a Hamas website.

Al-Madhoun said the cooperation won't maintain the previous contract "in order to keep the Palestinian natural sources and not to spend them for the foreign interests."

"It is unreasonable that the owner of the gas, Palestine, gets 10 percent only," al-Madhoun told the Palestinian Information Center.

"If the contract is changed, the economic consequences on the Palestinian society would be tangible," said al-Madhoun, adding the Palestinians would be depending on their sources rather than the international aid.

Due to the instability in the Palestinian governmental departments, al-Madhoun said the file of BG was suspended for some time.

In the era of late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Authority granted 20-year concession to BG to drill for Gaza natural gas.

The coastal Gaza Strip has been under Hamas control since June 14 after Hamas defeated Fatah militants loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who then dissolved the Hamas-led government and sworn in an emergency replacement.

The political developments in Gaza have raised BG concerns as one of the two Gaza gas fields is set to start producing natural gas next summer.

Hamas website reported that the gas was found in two fields -- one located 35 kilometers offshore in central Gaza Strip and the second near the Gaza-Israel border in northern Gaza Strip.

Source: Xinhua

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