“Most valuable hostage that Hamas has is not the Israeli soldier, but the Palestinian gas reserves”
Remember when we all marched in protest against the Coalition of the willings interests in the oil fields of Iraq? Well it looks like we have a similar scenario in Gaza. Since it’s creation, Israel and it’s governments has been driving the Palestinians off their land. The Palestinains have had to pay the price for the execution of 6 million Jews by Europe, with the blood of their children and the loss of their land. Excuses have been used time and time again that it is for the security and safety of the Israeli civilians that walls have been erected, children killed, olive groves destroyed and now bombing civilian populations in Gaza. According to a recent article the attacks on Gaza are less to do with the Qassam rockets being fired into Israel, but more to do with the gas reserves off the coast of Gaza.
The Gaza Marine field was discovered after years of gas and oil prospecting in the area, and the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas is worth an estimated $4 billion. According to previous media reports The Palestinian Authorities struck a 25 year contract with British Gas (NYT, 1999) for further exploration in the area.
Israel and Egypt signed a $2.5 billion preliminary agreement on sales of Egyptian natural gas to Israel, underscoring improved ties between the two countries. The Egyptian oil minister, Sameh Fahmy, signed the 15-year deal in Cairo with the Israeli minister for national infrastructure, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (2005).
This deal explains Egypts silence over the massacre of the people of Gaza.
“Unfortunately for Israel, 60% of these reserves are in waters controlled by the Palestinian Authority, which has signed a 25-year contract with British Gas for further exploration in the area. Since this discovery, Israel has proceeded with the development of its reserves with the US-Israeli company Yam Tethys, but has been faced with an obvious dilemma over the Palestinian deposits 4. Keen to secure the gas for its domestic market but unwilling to submit its sensitive energy supplies (and their profits) into the hands of the Palestinians, Israel has for the past 6 years pursued a policy of non-commitment, stalling and obstruction.
Despite early endorsement of the British Gas plan to develop the PA reserves for the Israeli market, the intensification of tensions during the Intifada allowed Sharon to veto the Gaza deal on security grounds. With the exploitation of the Palestinian reserves halted and the Egyptian deal put on hold, Israel has used the Yam Tethys supply as a stopgap. However, as its hungry economy quickly bought up these reserves and prices began to rise Israel needed to act to guarantee its future supplies.”
“If the ongoing attacks on Gaza succeed in destroying the Palestinian Authority as a viable political entity, all commercial contracts with the Authority, such as that with British Gas, will become worthless and will have to be renegotiated with the Israeli government. Perhaps the most valuable hostage that Hamas has in the current crisis then is not the 19-year old Israeli soldier, but the Palestinian gas reserves that Israel claims as its own, and may go to extreme lengths to rescue (Daily.pk 4/1-2009).”