UPDATES 6 pm Israel time Friday:
*Marking the anniversary of the Egyptian revolution: tens of thousands of Egyptians are currently demonstrating in Tahrir Square in Cairo against the Egyptian government. Clashes are reported in Alexandria between protestors and the Egyptian army. Muslim Brotherhood offices have been burned in Ismailia.
*Dozens of Hezbollah fighters have been reported killed in fighting in Syria today.
*Numerous armed Fatah “militia” are currently blocking the entrance to the Balata “refugee camp” in Samaria, burning tires, shooting in the air, and blocking entrance to the town. PLO “security forces” refuse to enter.
*300 international lawbreakers and Palestinians have once again squatted at the illegal “Bab al-Karma outpost” near Beit Iksa that was razed by Israeli security forces four days ago. According to the interlopers, they just want to “plant trees.”
The Tamar platform:
Today is an historic day in the economic history of Israel.
Long dependent on unstable sources of natural gas and oil from Egypt and elsewhere, natural gas began flowing this morning from the offshore Tamar reservoir into Israel. A marine “buoy” to receive natural gas has been completed by Israel Natural Gas Lines (INGL).
The submerged turret loading buoy will connect to LNG ships which will unload the natural gas into the Israeli grid at an annual volume of between 1.5 and 2 billion cu meters. In the first two weeks alone, the buoy will save Israel some 500 million shekels; this will quickly expand to billions of shekels. All told, the buoy is able to transfer 4000 megawatts of energy per hour.
The buoy is located 10 kilometers west of Hadera. Built by the Italian company MICOPERI, the buoy was constructed in record time by scuba divers who were under the Mediterranean for 5000 hours.
Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau had this to say: “Natural gas is the principle growth engine of the Israeli economy, with an updated forecast of economic growth of more than a full percent thanks to the gas production. The people of Israel have discovered in the Mediterranean Sea a treasure full to the brim that will transform electricity to becoming more efficient, cleaner and cheaper.”
Ron Haimovsky, INGL chairman, declared that “This is the final stage for a great beginning in order to secure energy independence for the first time in Israel.”
Your humble servant has a feeling that we will look back on today as a major turning point in the economic history of Israel.
*Your humble servant thanks JPost for elements of this blog.