Well-informed and senior Israeli political sources revealed that the administration of US President Donald Trump asked the Hebrew state to reconsider the participation of China in a tender to build the largest water desalination plant in the world in the occupation entity.
According to the same sources, Trump administration officials sought clarifications from Israel regarding the participation of a company controlled by China in the construction of the largest water desalination plant in the world, which will be established in the coastal village of Palmahim in the middle of the Hebrew state, which will be decided by the Israeli Ministry of Finance.
On May 24 this year, senior Israeli officials told Private Israeli TV Channel 13.
According to Channel 13, it is expected that the water desalination facility called “Shork2” will be the largest of its kind in the world, and will be able to produce 200 million cubic feet of desalinated water annually, and provide about 25 percent of Israel’s water consumption, and the cost of the project is more than $ 1.425 billion, and the company that will win the tender, will build and operate the facility for 25 years.
Senior sources in Tel Aviv stressed to the Channel 13 that one of the companies that reached the final stage of the tender, is the Israeli branch of the Chinese company Hutchison based in Hong Kong.
In addition to the above, senior Israeli officials indicated that many officials in the American administration, including the US ambassador in Israel, David Friedman, contacted the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli government, and asked them questions about the company’s participation in the last stage from tender.
As a result of these developments and developments, the sources continued in Tel Aviv, the Cabinet Miniature Council for Political and Security Affairs Cabinet decided six months ago, in response to severe American pressure, to form a committee to monitor Chinese investments in Israel, and Israeli officials stated that the Americans wanted to know why this committee was not convened so far, to discuss the participation of the Chinese company in the tender “Shork 2”, pointing at the same time that the desalination facility, falls within the powers of the committee.
And the Hebrew TV indicated in his report that one of the responses the Americans received from Israel is that the tender of the desalination facility was published long before the formation of the committee, and therefore it is not possible to hold a session in the committee retroactively, and the Americans did not accept this answer, and they are still demanding by clarification.
Israeli officials said that the attempt of the Chinese company to participate in the construction of the desalination plant could become a source of tension between Israel and the United States.
An Israeli official added to Channel 13 that the Americans are communicating the messages kindly and politely, but they clearly want us to reconsider, as he put it, the Chinese company participated in the tender.
According to Israeli officials, the US opposition to Chinese participation in the tender also stems from economic motives, in light of the trade war between the United States and China, noting that US President Donald Trump described China as the main competitor of the United States in the world, and he currently blames the Chinese, on Coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the world.
The Channel 13 pointed out that a senior official in the Washington embassy in Tel Aviv commented on the issue, saying, without revealing his name: We will not address specific projects, but as with all of our allies and friends in the world, we are having a dialogue and discussion with Israel as well, on the best way to examine Foreign investment and economic transactions, which may have an impact on national security, he said.
This is not the first time that the United States has asked Israel not to conclude a specific deal with China.
The Clinton administration forced the Israelis to cancel a deal to sell the Falcon radar system to China in the year 2000, and if the relationship between Israel and China can bypass the resolution of this crisis over the more important port of Haifa, Israel will avoid Beijing’s disappointment over its inability to manage the port of Haifa.
According to sources in Tel Aviv, as Channel 13 reported, although Israel must have the courage and ability to thwart American requests threatening Israeli security, this is not the case here, meaning that Israel will actually benefit from its deal with China, However, the loss will be greater if this deal is not canceled.