War & Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields

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Michel Chossudovsky writes for Global Research that the war in Gaza is really about Israel wanting to control Gaza’s offshore gas reserves.

“This is a war of conquest. 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. (See Map above). It should be noted that 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.

“The BG Group drilled two wells in 2000: Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2. Reserves are estimated by British Gas to be of the order of 1.4 trillion cubic feet, valued at approximately 4 billion dollars. These are the figures made public by British Gas. The size of Palestine’s gas reserves could be much larger. …

“The invasion plan of the Gaza Strip under “Operation Cast Lead” was set in motion in June 2008, according to Israeli military sources:

  • “Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago [June or before June] , even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas.”(Barak Ravid, Operation “Cast Lead”: Israeli Air Force strike followed months of planning, Haaretz, December 27, 2008 )
    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 decision to speed up negotiations with British Gas (BG Group) coincided, chronologically, with the planning of the invasion of Gaza initiated in June. It would appear that Israel was anxious to reach an agreement with the BG Group prior to the invasion, which was already in an advanced planning stage. …”

To read the entire article, click here.

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