H.E. Zafer Milhem
Chairman of the Palestinian Energy & Natural Resources Authority
Director of the Regulatory and Policy Unit at the Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority
The State of Palestine is a state in the Levant region of Western Asia located precisely at the only natural land passage connecting Asia and Africa. The State of Palestine is bordered by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea. The State of Palestine also shares a border river, the Jordan River, with Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The State of Palestine is a coastal state of the Eastern-Mediterranean region whose coast is located in the Gaza Strip.
The geography and climate of Palestine enjoys the general characteristics of the Mediterranean regions. The climate is generally hot and dry in the summer, and cold and rainy in winter in the majority of the territory of the State of Palestine.
The land is mountainous in the central regions surrounding the capital of the State of Palestine, Jerusalem, as well as other main governorates such as Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus. Agriculture in these regions mainly focuses on the production of olive and olive oil, grapes and citruses.
On the other hand, the climate of the Jordan Valley and the coast of the Dead Sea, which is the region bordering Palestine and Jordan, and is located at the lowest land in the world, enjoys higher temperatures allowing for the production of a diverse set of tropical plants. As for the Gaza Strip, which is located in the coast of the State of Palestine overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and despite the complex socio-economic and political situation endured by Palestinians living in Gaza under an illegal military blockade, the agricultural sector functions in a manner that allows for surplus production enabling farmers to export their products abroad.
Capital and seat of government: Jerusalem
Religion: Palestinian society consists of Muslims, Christians and Jewish Samaritans.
Currency: Jordanian Dinar is the interim currency approved by the authorities of the State of Palestine in addition to the acceptability of USD and Euros.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It is the body that represents the State of Palestine at international foras, including the United Nations, and in international intergovernmental bodies, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the League of Arab States, and in many other fora. The PLO has deals with numerous tasks with regard to the life of the Palestinian people in their main communities and throughout the world in such realms as health, education and social services. The PLO structure includes:
Palestine National Council (PNC), is the highest decision-making body of the PLO, is considered to be the parliament of all Palestinians inside and outside of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem.
Central Council is the second leading body of the PLO. The Council functions as an intermediary body between the PNC and the Executive Committee. At present, the membership stands at 124, including 15 representatives of the PLC.
Executive Committee is the daily leading body of the PLO and it represents the organization at the international level.
The Government of the State of Palestine, functions under the auspices of the PLO, exercises its mandate in the Territory of the State of Palestine. It is a democratically elected government consisting of the executive branch headed by the President of the State of Palestine, and a ministerial cabinet formed in line with parliamentary majorities and headed by the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine.
The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) is the elected representative legislative body of Palestinians living in the Territory of the State of Palestine.
The Energy Sector
Gas field offshore (Gaza Marine) license holders and various stakeholders in discussions to progress development of the field. The project could transform the Palestinian energy sector and boost the economy. Additional hydrocarbon resources may include Oil Shale and Oil in the West Bank (Rantis).
The U.S Geological Survey indicates that there are potentially eight gas fields off the coast of Gaza, one gas field on the border of the West Bank.
Exploiting the Gaza Marine gas field could increase the State of Palestine’s annual revenue and ensure the security of supply for gas-generated power plants. Additional hydrocarbon commercial discoveries could provide additional sources of revenue and a cost-efficient fuel supply for the Palestinian market.
Studies and surveys strongly indicate that the undiscovered gas resources in the Palestinian maritime areas would significantly exceed the resources discovered and available for exploitation.
Land (Sq.km): 6,031
Time Zone: GMT + 3
Proven natural gas reserves (billion c.m.): cubic meters
Domestic natural gas consumption (billion c.m.): million standard cubic meters.