Israel's Supreme Court will hear appeals against the government's decision on gas exports on September 17, the court said Thursday.
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The court said in a statement a seven-member panel would hear the case. The panel will include Supreme Court President Asher Grunis. On Monday the government agreed to the Supreme Court's proposal for a larger panel of judges to hear the appeals against its June 23 decision to permit the export of 40% of the country's offshore gas reserves.
The government will now have to present its arguments to back up its decision. The court in effect barred the government from implementing the decision until a ruling was handed down.
Several parliamentarians along with environmental and political organizations presented appeals to the Supreme Court. They demanded that any decision be taken by the Knesset, Israel's parliament, and not the government. The state attorney's office, which is defending the decision, has called on the court to reject the appeals, arguing that the government was within its rights to decide the matter. The appeals also say the government's decision was based on incorrect data.
The amount to be set aside for the domestic market through 2040 would be 540 billion cubic meters and that any exports to neighboring countries, including Jordan and the Palestinians, would come out of the export quota and not from the domestic allocation.