CAIRO, Wednesday, June 15, 2022 (WAFA) - The Palestinian delegation participating in the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) held in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, today stressed the need for the Forum to ensure the commitment of all member states to the basic principles of international law as a prerequisite for any sustainable regional or international cooperation.
Speaking at the EMGF, the Palestinian delegation, headed by Mohammad Mustafa, Advisor to the President for Economic Affairs, stressed that Palestine has not been able until now to develop its natural gas resources despite its discovery more than 20 years ago and that Israel's obstruction of the development of the Palestinian natural resources is only one aspect of many of the devastating impact of the 55-year-long Israeli occupation, which makes it the longest colonial occupation in modern history.
The delegation stressed that the principles upon which the Forum was based, namely respecting international law and mutual respect for the rights of member states over their natural resources, are not consistent with the failure to act with the minimum guarantees required to allow the State of Palestine to exercise its right to develop its natural resources. On the contrary, Palestine is facing continuous Israeli stalling and obstructions that hinder the development of these resources.
It pointed out that the same principles do not go along with attempts to facilitate the export of Israeli gas to the European Union markets at a time when they are not being applied when it comes to Palestinian rights.
The Palestinian delegation reiterated that one of the most essential things required for the success of the Forum is to ensure that each member state has the ability to control and develop its resources for the benefit of its people, especially at a time when recent global developments have highlighted the importance of natural gas, not only as an alternative energy source for green economies, rather as a basic commodity that supports global economic stability, and that the ability of countries to export to world markets and open prospects for national development is based on respect for the foundations of international law.
The delegation renewed its call on the EMGF to ensure that all member states respect its goals, its declared mission and its approved charter so that Palestine can develop its natural resources, starting with the development of the Gaza Marine gas field, which requires that Israel, immediately and unambiguously, announce the removal of any obstacles placed in the way of the development of this field, and all other Palestinian natural resources.