The Cabinet, at its weekly meeting today (Sunday, 16 August 2015), approved the outline to increase the quantity of natural gas produced at the Tamar natural gas field and to rapidly develop – inter alia – the Leviathan, Karish and Tanin natural gas fields.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting:
Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 16 August 2015):
"I would like to commend IDF and Border Police soldiers for their determined action over the weekend in which they neutralized several terrorist actions. Our policy is zero tolerance for terrorism. Whoever tries to hurt us – we will hurt them.
Today, the Cabinet will pass an historic decision, no less. This decision will give Israel's citizens, will put into the state coffers, hundreds of billions of shekels. This money will benefit education, health, social welfare and other national needs. I would like to commend the work done by Minister Steinitz's team which has led to a very significant reduction in the price the state will pay for gas and to other changes that will greatly improve the outline. I would like us to pass the decision by a large majority, and rightly so.
I am not impressed by populism – to me it is only populism, even though people could possibly believe in what they are saying, but the country needs gas. Gas resources in our region will be developed, unfortunately, either way, and we need to see to it that our resources work at full capacity.
We need to extract the gas from the sea. This decision is an important milestone. We are overcoming the obstacles step by step. This process will not be stopped. The gas will be extracted from the bottom of the sea and will reach Israeli citizens, Israeli industry and the Israeli economy - for the benefit of the citizens of Israel.
Every objective test proves this outline is a significant improvement over the existing situation. But one more thing must be understood – it cannot be stopped. When the right thing needs to be done, and it is so crucial to Israel's economy and strategic situation, that thing will not be stopped. They will look for another way to delay, another excuse, another reason - and that will not work.
This outline will pass one way or another, and it is about time that it does. The true interests of the State of Israel require the passage of this outline as quickly as possible."