Building Diplomacy by Building a Pipeline
Holland to help build pipeline to GazaSeptember 19th, 2016
At a joint press conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Benjamin Netanyahu expressed a wish to “help the people of Gaza”. He said laying the pipeline was the first step to reaching this goal.
The Dutch government will assist Israel in improving water and gas supplies to energy-strapped Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday during a visit to the Netherlands. Netanyahu said that while his government is in conflict with "terrorists" in the Palestinian territories, Israel still wishes to improve the quality of life for most people living there.
After talks with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, Netanyahu said his cabinet had already made a decision to lay the pipeline, and that he appreciated Dutch help in realizing this project.
Rutte said his country had already invested in a feasibility study for a gas pipeline from Israel to the impoverished Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip.
The Netherlands would also facilitate expert meetings between Dutch, Israeli and Palestinian officials focusing on energy and water, he told a joint press conference.
"The aim of these meetings is to improve the Palestinian economy, but equally it provides for a more fertile ground for political negotiations between the two parties," added Rutte.
"I realise it's not going to be easy, but we need to keep on moving," he stressed.
Gaza faces an energy crisis due to damage to its electric network from past conflicts, together with Israel's coastal blockade and other sanctions and restrictions.