The oil pipeline which opened yesterday in Iraq, with its terminus in Haifa, considerably widens the economic possibilities of Palestine.
Under the agreement concluded between the Palestine government and the Iraq Petroleum Company the transit of the mineral oils of the company through Palestine will make Haifa a very important harbor city. The agreement is valid for seventy years and provides among others that the Petroleum Company must employ local labor in Palestine and may construct its own railways and roads there.
At the expiration of the concession seventy years hence, all rights, immovable property and fixtures will automatically become the property of the Palestine government, unless the concession is extended or is renewed.
It is not without reason that the Palestine government has seen to it that British subjects alone should be the ones to acquire land in the Haifa Bay section. The Palestine government knows what this section will be worth strategically as soon as the operation of the oil pipeline begins.
The American Consul General in Palestine, foreseeing a year ago the possibilities in the Haifa Bay area, has notified the State Department in Washington to encourage American citizens to acquire land in this area. Other consulates in Palestine have acted similarly, notifying their governments of the strategic importance of the land which can be acquired in the vicinity of the Haifa harbor.
It seems, however, that the Palestine government made it difficult for citizens other than British actually to secure land in the Haifa Bay district. It was on this account that several foreign consuls in Palestine last month submitted their protests to the Palestine administration.
In these days, when oil is one of the most important factors in world economics, the completion of the Iraq oil pipeline and its termination in Haifa makes Palestine one of the most important commercial centers in the entire Near East. It will certainly add to the prosperity of Palestine.