Fri Jul 18, 2014, 04:57 PM
Gaza: Israel's $4 billion gas grab
Never mind the 'war on terror' rhetoric, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The purpose of Israel's escalating assault on Gaza is to control the Territory's 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas - and so keep Palestine poor and weak, gain massive export revenues, and avert its own domestic energy crisis.
Israel's defence minister is on record confirming that military plans to uproot Hamas' are about securing control of Gaza's gas reserves
The conquest of Gaza is accelerating. Israel has now launched its ground invasion, bringing the Palestinian death toll to 260, 80% of whom are civilians.
But in 2007, a year before Operation Cast Lead, Ya'alon's concerns focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $4 billion.
Ya'alon dismissed the notion that "Gaza gas can be a key driver of an economically more viable Palestinian state" as "misguided".
The problem, he said is that "Proceeds of a Palestinian gas sale to Israel would likely not trickle down to help an impoverished Palestinian public. Rather, based on Israel's past experience, the proceeds will likely serve to fund further terror attacks against Israel ...
"A gas transaction with the Palestinian Authority will, by definition, involve Hamas. Hamas will either benefit from the royalties or it will sabotage the project and launch attacks against Fatah, the gas installations, Israel - or all three ...
"It is clear that without an overall military operation to uproot Hamas control of Gaza, no drilling work can take place without the consent of the radical Islamic movement."