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EU plan to buy gas from Israel heavily criticised by Green MEP

Green Party MEP Grace O’Sullivan previously was refused permission to visit Gaza with a delegation of other MEPs.

Green Party MEP Grace O'Sullivan has raised concerns about the new plan.
Green Party MEP Grace O'Sullivan has raised concerns about the new plan.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Tadgh McNally reports from the European Parliament in Brussels:

GREEN PARTY MEP Grace O’Sullivan has hit out at an EU agreement to buy gas from Israel, saying that the bloc “must not swap the gas of one occupying state for another”.

The new agreement, which was proposed to move away from using Russian fossil fuels due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, was first reached last week with a Memorandum of Understanding being signed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“We must not swap the gas of one occupying state for another,” said O’Sullivan in a statement.

“On one hand the EU comes out with a statement every other month deploring illegal settlement construction and human rights abuses against Palestinians, including the killing of journalists, and on the other hand we are sending them billions of euros for new gas imports.”

“Just last month Israel refused to allow the European Parliament’s elected representatives, including myself, to enter Gaza where over two million people are denied basic rights by Israeli authorities. Why are we rewarding this behaviour?”

Recently, O’Sullivan and a group of other MEPs were refused entry to Gaza as part of an EU delegation to Palestine.

“Any new gas deals will also lock us into fossil fuel dependency for years to come.”

Speaking to reporters earlier today in Brussels, O’Sullivan said that the Greens overall were unhappy with the deal and that they were writing to the Commission to “ensure that the occupied territories” are not used to supply gas to the EU.

“The Greens are unhappy with that situation. To be clear, we need to be sure that criteria in terms of human rights and that is applied to systems like Israel,” said O’Sullivan.

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“We will be dealing with the Commission to ensure that whatever the terms are, that there’s clauses that provide this recognition of the human rights conditions but also, that if gas is coming from Israel, that there’s a cap on it.”

Under the deal, natural gas would be pumped from Israel to Egypt before being turned into Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to then be transported by sea to European countries.

Announcing the deal, von der Leyen said that EU dependence on Russian fuel was exposed due to the war in Ukraine.

“Russia’s war against Ukraine has exposed our European dependency on Russian fossil fuels, and we want to get rid of this dependency,” said von der Leyen.

Additional reporting by AFP

About the author:

Tadgh McNally

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