In the wake of rocket strikes by Hamas, oil company Chevron said Wednesday that it closed a gas platform off the Israeli coast under instructions from the Israeli Energy Ministry.
Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot reported that Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz issued an order Tuesday to close the platform in the Tamar field “following careful consultations with security officials and experts in the energy sector."
The ministry said it took various steps to ensure the continued supply of gas to power industrial facilities across Israel and to ensure that the electricity supply is not interrupted.
A massive fire broke out Tuesday along oil pipelines linking Ashkelon and Eilat after being hit by a missile fired from the Gaza Strip, according to state-owned TV channel Kan.
Tamar is a natural gas field located in the Mediterranean Sea, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of Haifa. It pumps about 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually.
This week Palestinian resistance groups have launched around 60 rockets in response to repeated Israeli attacks on Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip that killed 65 people – including five women and 16 children – and wounded 165 more.
By Zain Khalil