Sunday, January 11, 2009
Palestinians would not be impoverished if Israel did not try to steal their offshore gas resources
by Larry Geller
I didn’t know this. Did you? It’s about gas: “The military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.”
Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research - The military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.
British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon's Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority. . .
The BG license covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. . . 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.
The issue of sovereignty over Gaza's gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine.
The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza's offshore gas reserves.
British Gas has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields. . .
Under [a] proposed 2007 agreement with BG, Palestinian gas from Gaza's offshore wells was to be channeled by an undersea pipeline to the Israeli seaport of Ashkelon, thereby transferring control over the sale of the natural gas to Israel. The deal fell through. The negotiations were suspended. . . Israel's intent was to foreclose the possibility that royalties be paid to the Palestinians. . .
The invasion plan of the Gaza Strip under "Operation Cast Lead" was set in motion in June 2008, according to Israeli military sources. . . That very same month, the Israeli authorities contacted British Gas, with a view to resuming crucial negotiations pertaining to the purchase of Gaza's natural gas: The sources added that BG has not yet officially responded to Israel's request, but that company executives would probably come to Israel in a few weeks to hold talks with government officials.
Pakistan Daily - The world has been watching Israel's genocide of the Palestinians for a long time but incredibly, the media never mentions the Palestinians' natural resources or the fact that Israel has thwarted Palestine's efforts to develop them.
The Palestinians are usually portrayed on television as victims of impossible, cyclical poverty. Ironic the Palestinians wouldn't have to live in poverty if Israel would let them develop their natural resources.
But developing Palestine's energy resources wouldn't be in Israel's self-interest. The oil and gas revenues would empower the Palestinians. They wouldn't have to starve to death or struggle in poverty. Empowered Palestinians would be able to invest in infrastructure of their legal government, Hamas. . . .
The major corporate media has completely ignored and/or has remained blissfully ignorant about Palestinian oil and gas because it goes against the script of how powerful hidden western corporate and government interests want to portray Palestine. [Progressive Review Undernews, The Hidden Reason Israel Wants Gaza Under its Control, 1/11/2009]
From a comment posted on this article:
What I believe is this: You don't start a war of this magnitude over a few rockets landing in someone's bean patch.
Countries start a war of this magnitude for natural resources. We did it in Iraq. Israel has done it in Gaza.
The goal of the Israel army is the complete annihilation of the Palestinian people in Gaza, and total control of billions of dollars of gas reserves --- both on the strip --- and offshore.