Gas campaign appeals court verdict in export to Israel

Abdel-Rahman Hussein
3 Min Read

CAIRO: The popular campaign to prevent the export of Egyptian gas has filed an appeal to rescind the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court allowing the government to continue exporting natural gas to Israel and other countries.

The campaign is attempting to put a stop to the export of Egyptian gas because the prices agreed upon in the contracts are lower than market prices for natural gas.

The appeal is based on the premise that one of the three judges involved in the ruling should have stepped down from hearing the case.

Head of the campaign and former diplomat Ibrahim Yousri told Daily News Egypt, “We are resorting to legal methods, but we cannot ascertain the outcome. It depends on the judges who will be hearing the case and the intentions of the government. Don’t forget the government does not heed decisions they don’t want to heed.

The Supreme Administrative Court had ruled in February that gas exports could continue, and there is currently also an appeal to this decision pending at the Administrative Judiciary which will begin today.

The campaign will also hold a protest Monday morning in front of the State Council before the hearing begins.

The Cairo Administrative Court had ruled that the government should stop exporting the gas last November because parliament had not been consulted on the deal.

The court had ruled that “national resources belong to current and future generations, and so the executive must first get parliament s approval.

However, the government appealed the ruling and the gas continued to flow through an intermediary company that directly pumps the gas to Israel.

This decision was then overturned by the Supreme Administrative Court in February.

Spokesman for the campaign Anwar Esmat Al Sadat said at the time that the verdict was “a huge shock [and] a new violation of the country’s interests [as well as] the will of the Egyptian people.

“While the campaign announces its complete respect to the rulings of the court, which is something the government had ignored before, we will continue our campaign through cases brought to the State Council, he had added.

The underlying argument for the government’s appeal was that the verdict could not be given against them, as there was no contractual relationship between the state of Egypt and the state of Israel concerning the exportation of natural gas.

Rather, the contract was between the Egyptian General Authority for Petroleum and the Egyptian Israeli consortium Eastern Mediterranean Gas (EMG). Since it was a purely business venture, it no longer falls under the jurisdiction of the administrative court.

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