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Netanyahu to fast-track natural gas plan after minister resigns

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take control of the Economy Ministry to fast-track a plan to develop huge offshore natural gas deposits after a minister who had been holding up the plan stepped down.

Economy Minister Aryeh Deri, who had opposed waiving normal antitrust laws to give rapid approval to a framework deal to develop the gas fields off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, said he had offered his resignation.

His decision allows Netanyahu to take the helm of the Economy Ministry and give final approval to a framework deal he reached in August with Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group.

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