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Israeli environment minister: UAE oil deal blocked

Israeli environment minister: UAE oil deal blocked

The Israeli Environment Minister stated Thursday that a clandestine oil agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates had been effectively blocked

TEL AVIV — Israel’s Environment minister said Thursday that a clandestine deal that would have made scuba divers’ paradise a gateway for Emirati oil heading for Western markets was effectively blocked.

Tamar Zandberg stated to Israeli Army Radio that the agreement could not be realized after a Justice Ministry opinion that her Office had the authority limit the activities of the Israeli government owned corporation that signed onto the deal.

The deal exists on paper, but it is impossible to implement,” she stated. They won’t be able to bring in more tanksers than the current permit permits. The agreement cannot be realized.

The secret deal would have significantly increased oil tanker docking and unloading at Eilat, an Israeli resort city. It was reached last January between the Europe-Asia Pipeline Company of Israel and MED-RED Land Bridge, a joint Israeli/Emirati venture. This agreement followed the historic diplomatic ties that were established between Israel and United Arab Emirates.

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The Environmental Protection Ministry stopped the company’s expansion plans, limiting the number of oil tankers allowed into Gulf of Eilat, and effectively preventing the deal.

Israeli environmental groups had asked the Supreme Court to cancel the agreement. They also cited the corporation’s questionable safety record as well as the risk posed from parking supertankers alongside Eilats fragile Coral Ecosystems. Following the Justice Ministry’s decision in favor of the Environmental Protection Ministry, the groups retracted their lawsuit earlier this month.

The EAPC was a pipeline company that was established to bring Iranian oil to Israel in the 1960s. Its operations are kept secret ostensibly to protect security.

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