Knesset can vote on gas deal even if it’s not necessary, legal adviser says

The government may bring its natural gas deal to a vote in the Knesset even if it is not required by law to do so, Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon determined Tuesday.

However, if the Knesset rejects the gas outline, the government can ignore it, because parliamentary approval is not a prerequisite of enacting the deal.

The government’s decision on how to regulate the pumping and distribution of gas from the Tamar, Leviathan and other natural gas reservoirs only needs to be approved by the cabinet, which it already has been, and Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo, who refuses to sign it because of Delek Group and Noble Energy’s market dominance. Economy Minister Arye Deri could enact the deal by signing what is known as Article 52, to circumvent an antitrust commissioner’s objections because of national security or foreign policy considerations, but he says he will only do so if the Knesset approves the outline.


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