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The 15 billion dollar deal that will make or break Israel’s regional hegemony

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In the past week, international efforts have grown to prevent an Israeli-Jordanian gas deal. Jordan BDS has called upon its counterparts in the international boycott movement to stand against the deal, and on Friday, February 20th activists in Denver, London and South Africa took to the streets to join the call to action. If it goes through, the gas deal will increase Israeli dominance in the region by controlling the energy supply to bordering countries, and undermine the growing BDS movement.

The Jordan-Israel gas deal

In September 2014, Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) signed a letter of intent with US company Noble Energy to import natural gas from the Leviathan field, located in the Mediterranean off the shores of Haifa. The Leviathan field, the largest offshore gas field found in the last decade, is co-owned between US-based Noble Energy, with only 39% shareholding of the field, and a consortium of three Israeli companies namely Delek Drilling, Avner Oil and Ratio Oil, owning majority shares in the Leviathan.

Israel is attempting to expand its hegemony in the region through energy as one of its many reactions in the face of its declining economy and worldwide boycott efforts. Israel’s plan to export natural gas from the Leviathan to Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority could not only mean an economic boom, but in the in the opinion of activists and boycott proponents “would also massively undermine our collective efforts to isolate Israel.”

A possible Israeli deal with the Palestinian Authority comes as Palestinians are being prohibited from extracting their own natural resources. In response, the Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC) held a press conference on Tuesday 17th of Feb. calling upon the PA to cancel the letter of intent it has signed with Noble and the consortium of Israeli companies to import natural gas from the Israeli-controlled gas field.

The proposed natural gas deals comes in the aftermath of Israel’s atrocious attack on Gaza, which killed over 2,100 Palestinians. It is priced at $15 billion, of which $8.4 billion will go directly to the Israeli treasury that sustains occupation and apartheid and funds Israeli terror operations and atrocities.

Global protests against the deal

Since September, a Jordanian coalition against importing gas from Israel has been formed and the fierce popular opposition in Jordan, which is increasing by the day, managed to postpone the signing of the deal. Furthermore, the Jordanian Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority against the proposed deal and demanded the Jordanian government to cancel the letter of intent signed in September.

For about 5 months Jordanian activists have been fighting the proposed natural gas deal that is intended to put Jordan’s economic and political stability at the whim of Israel.

Denver protest flier

Denver protest flier

If the agreement is finalized not only will Jordan’s independence be threatened but also it will seriously undermine the successes that the boycott movement has achieved internationally in isolating Israel.

Last Friday, Coloradans for Justice in Palestine (CJP) held a protest outside the headquarters of Noble Energy in Denver. Activists in Colorado believe that this must be one of many actions to follow given Noble Energy’s gross complicity in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

On the same day, South Africa BDS organised an initial symbolic protest with a larger one expected to follow this week. Organizers say the protest is “in solidarity with our Palestinian and Jordanian comrades calling on the Jordanian Government not to sign the Israeli Gas Deal” emphasising their “trust that the Jordanian Government will heed the call made by the Jordanian people”.

Protest in South Africa

Protest in South Africa

Simultaneously, Embassy staff in London were not able to start work as usual on Friday due to a picketers outside the Jordanian Embassy calling upon stopping the Israel-Jordan gas deal. The protest was organised by London Palestine Action in solidarity with the Jordanian activists opposing their country into bankrolling the Israeli war machine with billions of dollars.

Juman Asmail

Juman Asmail is a student activist and community organiser based in Jordan. She has recently completed her legal studies at the University of Southampton and is interested in anti-colonial movements and the universal struggle for justice.

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43 Responses

  1. Krauss on February 23, 2015, 3:42 pm

    I understand the urge to blow something like this up beyond proportion and claim it will “make or break” Israel’s hegemony. It won’t. Israel’s gas deals will help it, but this gas will come online very slowly and the amount that Israel will be able to (realistically) export is quite modest, even if it will be a revenue stream for a long time.

    Just to bring things into perspective. Israel’s defence budget in a single year is larger than that entire deal stretched over many years, decades.

    I hope the activists are successful in their action, but there is value in being grounded about what constitutes a make or break moment for hegemony. Israel’s hegemony starts and ends with its military.

  2. Walid on February 23, 2015, 3:52 pm

    With the gas in Qatar and with all the gas in Iraq and the about to be mined gas in Lebanon and Gaza and possibly on the West Bank, Jordan could find no better source of gas than Israel???

    Something not kosher about this deal.

    • Walid on February 23, 2015, 4:11 pm

      especially that the deal wouldn’t be going directly through the Jordanian Government but through its potash company that’s partly owned by a Canadian potash company that also has interest in an Israeli potash company. Israel would sell the gas to the Israeli potash company that in turn would sell it to the Jordanian potash company that would sell it to the Jordanian Government. That’s a lot of potashing going on. So where’s the gimmick?

      Jordan and Qatar have been negotiating for years to have LNG unloaded at Aqaba, but it seems this cost is slightly higher than the cost with Israel. Qatar has been known to offer Arab countries great bargains on price so why isn’t Jordan taking gas from friendly Qatar?

      • Walid on February 23, 2015, 4:21 pm

        “… A possible Israeli deal with the Palestinian Authority comes as Palestinians are being prohibited from extracting their own natural resources. ‘ (Juman)

        Great; what else is new. I wouldn’t be surprised if the PA hasn’t already signed on to that condition. Not very different from the deal the PA signed for Gaza’s offshore gas with BP, which blocked out any Hamas involvement, on the eve of Cast Lead.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 24, 2015, 9:08 am

        Funny how the Qataris have replaced the Saudis as Israel’s newest Arab bogeyman, and yet they can’t even be bothered to offer a substantial enough reduction on their gas prices for Jordan? The amount of gas they would sell to Jordan is piddling in global terms, and the Qataris are so loaded that they wouldn’t notice the difference to their profit line. Yet they can’t be bothered to match the Israeli price? Or, as you suggest, is something else going on? Are the Jordanians under political pressure from the US to accept this deal?

      • Walid on February 25, 2015, 1:35 pm

        “Yet they can’t be bothered to match the Israeli price? Or, as you suggest, is something else going on ”

        Most probably, although not necessarily the US. Most probably local interests. It’s ongoing elsewhere in the Middle East.

    • Kathleen on February 23, 2015, 8:18 pm

      From what I have read Iran has the largest proven gas resources in the region. Largest natural gas resources in the world Russia, Iran, Qatar, Turkmenistan, U.S. on down the line.

      So great that the Jordanian Parliament voted in an “overwhelming majority” against the proposed deal. Good sign

      ,

      • Kay24 on February 23, 2015, 9:47 pm

        Oil in Iran eh? That may explain why the GOP (and the old Bushites) are supporting the Liar of TelAviv. Now that leaked papers show Mossad does not agree with his war mongering, what would the prevaricator do?

      • Kathleen on February 25, 2015, 10:03 pm

        Kay Iran has some of the largest natural gas reserves in the world. Comes in third or fourth in the world for oil reserves. Natural gas Iran comes in second after Russia

      • Kay24 on February 25, 2015, 11:17 pm

        Thanks Kathleen I knew Iran had oil, but somehow that aspect of this situation escaped my mind. The Greedy Oil Party must be salivating again. Despite the present situation with oil, they must still want to control more.

  3. JustJessetr on February 23, 2015, 3:53 pm

    Awesome! I hope the deal works out between Israel and Jordan!

  4. pabelmont on February 23, 2015, 4:18 pm

    If Walid is right, this deal does smack of a way to give Israel CONTROL over PA, Jordan, and Egypt. I’m not convinced that Israel even OWNS the gas: until Israel’s territory is finally established, its coast-line is not known (for sure) and I believe that “ownership” of off-shore resources goes by coast-line, not by biggest guns.

    If my argument has merit, it would be a good point for PA and Lebanon to make, and a far better idea than caving-in and signing a deal with Israel which — inter alia — concedes sovereignty over the coastline.

    • Walid on February 23, 2015, 4:50 pm

      Pabelmont, there’s a lot going on all over the Middle East and gas is behind the whole thing. If you look carefully on the war being waged on Syria, it’s all about gas pipelines and where they would pass. There are pipelines in the works from Qatar that would pass either through Iran or through Syria to reach Turkey and Europe and Syria which is the better route has been making it difficult for the West. The plan is to get the pipeline to Europe to short-circuit Europe’s dependency on Russian gas and this may explain Russia’s great interest in Syria. 1949 was the year of the first coup d’état in Syria sponsored by the CIA because Syria was refusing to allow ARAMCO to pass its pipeline through Syria. After the coup, the contract was signed. In 2011, Syria again refused the proposed pipeline and it got itself a war. There’s really nothing worthwhile in Syria for Russia, Saudia or Qatar except its geographic location.

      Gas was discovered in Lebanon’s offshore years before Israel discovered its gas but Lebanon’s sponsors are preventing it from moving ahead with the signing of deals with driling companies. So everything is frozen and foreign companies are screaming to enter the bidding but the government is refusing to go ahead with it until it get the signal from outside. Exploration has shown that Lebanon has much more gas than Israel, but it can’t touch it. Now it’s feared that since Israel is advanced in extracting the gas, it may begin slant digging to siphon Lebanon’s gas before touching its own. Israel is sleazy enough to do it.

      • Mayhem on February 23, 2015, 6:12 pm

        @walid, what you are saying about Lebanon doesn’t make sense. It sounds like they are shooting themselves in the foot.

      • traintosiberia on February 23, 2015, 8:27 pm

        The coup or the group of coups in Syria from 1940 s are astounding and all undertaken and underwritten by CIA against democratically elected gov.

      • American on February 23, 2015, 8:33 pm

        Slant drilling is illegal
        But naturally that wont stop Israel.

      • Kay24 on February 23, 2015, 9:48 pm

        Israel is sleazy enough to do it. Sleazy is putting it mildly. Let’s not forget Israel is led by the sleaziest PM.

      • Rusty Pipes on February 23, 2015, 9:56 pm

        Jordan had been getting its natural gas from Egypt, but during the Arab Spring, that pipeline was damaged — attributed to Salafist rebels in Sinai. Meanwhile, the natural gas field in the Mediterranean is not being developed by Lebanon because of political infighting and inability to form a government, in Gaza because of Israel’s siege and in Egypt because it was outmaneuvered in international maritime legal wrangling during Mubarak’s rule.

      • Walid on February 24, 2015, 8:03 am

        “It sounds like they are shooting themselves in the foot.”

        They are; the mortgagees call the shots and they are American, Saudi, Iranian, French, Qataris, Syrian, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

      • Walid on February 24, 2015, 9:19 am

        Train, about those coups, fom Wiki:, you could probably add a few more such as Gadaffi’s Libya. or Saddam’s Iraq.

        Covert United States foreign regime
        change actions

        1949 Syrian coup d’état
        1953 Iranian coup d’état
        1954 Guatemalan coup d’état
        1959 Tibetan uprising
        1961 Cuba, Bay of Pigs Invasion
        1963 South Vietnamese coup
        1964 Brazilian coup d’état
        1973 Chilean coup d’état
        1976 Argentine coup d’état
        1979–89 Afghanistan, Operation Cyclone
        1980 Turkish coup d’état
        1981–87 Nicaragua, Contras

      • Bornajoo on February 24, 2015, 3:46 pm

        Great and informative comments Walid. Thanks

  5. Mayhem on February 23, 2015, 4:26 pm

    It’s not a matter of dependence on Israel – it’s a matter of avoiding co-operation at all costs to maintain the pressure on Israel. Instead of opening up the region to new economic development, which can only benefit all participants, these poisonous efforts aim to fight any normalization of relations with Israel. This kind of negativity will only help to prolong the conflict.

    It seems like the PA would prefer their own people to wallow in poverty than to encourage improvements in their living conditions – all in an effort to sustain their grievances against Israel. No wonder Israel could not strike a peace deal with the PA when this is their mindset.

    Besides making a tenured career for the PA of standing in line to receive international welfare handouts this reinforces that there’s no business like Palestinian Cause business.

    • annie on February 24, 2015, 8:17 am

      mayhem wants palestinians to put the lotion in the basket

    • annie on February 24, 2015, 8:14 am

      your article is literally a hasbara joke

      The numbers speak for themselves: Israel (population 8.3 million) has GDP of $291 billion, the Palestinian Territories (population 4.1 million), $11.3 billion. In 2012, Israeli sales to the Palestinian Authority were $4.3 billion, about 5% of Israeli exports (excluding diamonds) less than 2% of Israeli GDP, according to the Bank of Israel. In 2012, Palestinian sales to Israel accounted for about 81% of Palestinian exports and less than a percentage point of Israeli GDP. Palestinian purchases from Israel were two-thirds of total Palestinian imports (or 27% of Palestinian GDP).

      Such trade flow asymmetry shows Palestine needs Israel, economically speaking.

      maybe the author is unaware there is an occupation going on and lives under some illusion this is a free market. maybe they are not aware gaza’s economy is at a stand still. maybe they think palestinians can pick and choose who to do business with. maybe they are not aware how much free resources israel steals from palestine on a daily basis, like water, quarries etc.

      i can’t believe you take this piece of garbage seriously. it’s another pro soda stream article. as if palestinians have a choice.

      • DaBakr on February 24, 2015, 7:04 pm

        @an

        wait. I thought bds was aware that certain actions connected to beds would hurt some individual Palestinians but in the long run would be worth the sacrifice? Isn’t this article you called garbage just stating the obvious-that in the short term the Palestinians will be harmed economically more then Israelis but in the long term-maybe not so much? Why is that such a controversial thing to say. Is it untrue?

      • annie on February 25, 2015, 8:50 am

        Isn’t this article you called garbage just stating the obvious

        hm, not that i noticed. unless, by “stating the obvious” you mean reciting an economic statistics. but sometimes that term (stating the obvious) is used to reference the conclusion, otherwise thought of as “commentary.”

        and, what i addressed in my comment, you did not address in your response, which is that obviously you’re going to see such a wider discrepancy wrt income in a free society vs an imprisoned society under occupation. and OF COURSE you’re going to see Palestinian sales to Israel accounted for about 81% of Palestinian exports when palestine is not allowed to export agriculture freely to europe or anywhere else that competes with israel. their produce gets stuck at border crossings for days until it rots, or haven’t you heard? they are imprisoned.

        and look at the slight of hand: “Israeli sales to the Palestinian Authority were $4.3 billion”

        now notice they do not tell you how much palestine’s sales to israel are. what’s the number? they only give you a percentage and tell you us it’s 81%. and they forget to mention that its israel who controls, approves, authorizes all palestinian imports and exports. they forget to tell you that palestinian companies would not get big tax breaks (like soda stream) to build a factory on their own land in the WB. because, for the most part, israel doesn’t allow palestinian argiculture for export from the WB, unless they are working on an illegal israel settlement for a jewish master. there’s no context in the article.

        that is what my comment was about. it had nothing to do with ‘awareness certain actions connected to bds may hurt some individual Palestinians but in the long run worth it.’

  6. Daniel Rich on February 23, 2015, 6:23 pm

    ‘Baby, it is cold outside…’

    “No worries, we’ll get the cold inside your homes as well!” – Rude Ruth Shiksa, spokesperson for the ASGC and not allowed to speak to the media.

    “Israel’s electric company cut off power Monday to more than 700,000 Palestinians in two major West Bank cities and nearby villages, and warned that more outages are coming if Palestinian officials don’t pay millions of dollars in outstanding debt.” – LAT

  7. traintosiberia on February 23, 2015, 8:25 pm

    This is why Israel supports Sisi and Jordanian monarch. This is why Jordan’s monarch from Fiasal to days Mohammed are protected by Israel. This explains why a corrupt unelected PA is accepted by Israel and by US .

  8. American on February 23, 2015, 8:30 pm

    I dont have time to hunt up the reports right now but before anyone gets too excited over this they need to google the reports by the gas industry on this.

    The gist of which –and what isr knows—is that there isnt enough gas for them to fill their own total need to be independent ‘and’ export gas too for any length of time. Most estimates are less than 10 years. AND Isr is trying to get a gas deal with Egypt also.

    My bet is , because Isr knows this itself, that this is another short term plan until they can get their hands on the much larger gas fields that belong to Palestine. BP ,British Petroleum struck a deal with Palestine to develop their gas fields but Israel has prevented it and its been a basically dead issue for both BP and Palestine because of Israel..BP just closed their office in Palestine recently and gave up on the deal.

    There does seem to be something very large afoot here lately re Isr, Jordon and particulary Egypt—-I havent put any time into trying to figure out if this is part of Russia, Turkey and some others being hemmed in or what but things arent jiving.

  9. W.Jones on February 23, 2015, 9:58 pm

    Isn’t there a debate over whether those fields should go to Cyprus, Lebanon, or Gaza instead?

    • Walid on February 24, 2015, 8:18 am

      W.Jones, those fields actually belong to the countries you mentioned, but the trouble is in their overlapping in certain areas. For now thanks to Abbas, the Gaza field is in deep freeze and can only come to life ( an Israeli requirement) when the PA takes full control of Gaza and Hamas becomes history. Had you read between the lines of Cast Lead, this was supposed to have happened then, but it didn’t. Last summer was supposed to be a replay or a re-attempt, and it also failed.

      As to the overlapping of the Israeli amd Lebanese fields, Israel has already served notice on Lebanon that it intends tapping into the overlapping part, to which Hizbullah has responded by telling Israel that if it tries to, it will blow its rigs out of the water. Cyprus is the only place where it’s clear cut and without any overlapping. What is not being discussed as someone mentioned, maybe it was you, that nobody is talking about the Syrian fields and they are waiting for Assad to become histoty.

  10. oldgeezer on February 24, 2015, 12:31 am

    While Syria has been mentioned by Walid I’m surprised that no other mention has been brought up about it as it relates to the Leviathan field.

    The planned pipeline for this field is through Syrian waters. If you google pipeline israel syria turkey you will find numerous hits from reputable oil/mining/resource websites. You will even find references at US gov sites such as (but not limited to)
    http://www.eia.gov/countries/regions-topics.cfm?fips=em

    Israel could have negotiated the transit of it’s gas pipleline but such a negotiation would have likely entailed a resolution to the Golan. Israel has no desire for peace, and has never returned a square inch of land to obtain peace. It has returned some of what it has stolen but rarely all. And it really doesn’t care how many innocent Syrians (or refugees from Palestine or Iraq) that it has to kill in order to satisfy it’s greed for both territory and wealth.

    Their desire to overthrow Assad is driven by the naked greed to install a more friendly regime (democracy optional) and explains their support for their fellow ideological travellers in ISIS which shares the same tactics as well as aims as Israel.

    The reality is that nations require cheap and reliable supplies of petroleum products to sustain our economies. To the extent we enable the gross human rights violators such as Saudi Arabia and Israel we are complicit. As vile as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc are, Israel is arguably much worse.

    • Walid on February 24, 2015, 1:11 am

      About Israel’s gas and Egypt:

      “… Egypt’s Energy Minister Sharif Ismail confirmed to local media that importing gas from Israel was a possibility. He added that decisions on import are made with Egypt’s best interests at sight. The partners in the Leviathan and Tamar fields have signed MOUs to export natural gas respectively to BG’s LNG plant in Idku and to the LNG plant in Damietta, operated by Union Fenosa Gas.

      Recent regulatory hurdles in Israel have however made Israel’s regional ambitions questionable. A climate of uncertainty and hostility is surrounding the development of Israel’s offshore resources. In December 2014, Israel’s Antitrust Commissioner announced he was reconsidering an agreement that would have allowed Delek and Noble to pursue their partnership in the Leviathan and Tamar if they sold two smaller fields, Tanin and Karish. A final decision is expected by February 2015, but there is no doubt that the risk of the partners being qualified a cartel might deter international investors from participating in Israel’s gas developments, push Noble out and defer the development of the Leviathan further beyond 2018, and with it all the deals attached. ”

      http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/egypt-still-considering-israeli-gas-imports

      • Walid on February 24, 2015, 1:37 am

        Things in Israel’s gas situation may not be as rosy as is being pretended; from Times of Israel last fall:

        “.Israel an energy superpower? Not quite

        David Andrew Weinberg September 7, 2014, 3:19 am17

        … And despite proclamations that the U.S. could handle the Ukraine crisis better by accelerating the licensing of facilities to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe, these complex projects are still in their infancy and not yet anywhere near the scale required to displace Russia from being the continent’s top source for imported natural gas.

        Similarly, the Jewish State is not about to become “the next energy superpower”.

        True, Israel has discovered large deposits of oil in the form of kerogen, and an innovative company has pursued a pilot project to prove the resource’s commercial viability. But even they admit that a decade from now Israel could only meet between 20 and 40% of its overall needs, suggesting that producing enough oil for significant exports remains an unproven, distant concept.

        Just like America, Israel’s transportation sector is deeply vulnerable to foreign energy disruptions. During the war with Hezbollah in 2006, Israel faced the prospect of a crippling cut-off of oil imports because the shipping industry considered Israeli waters too risky to insure inbound oil tankers.

        Israel now faces the exciting prospect of energy independence in its electricity sector. Its deep-sea natural gas fields at Tamar and Leviathan were the biggest new discoveries in the world in 2009 and 2010, but they take much of their significance from their size relative to Israel’s population. When it comes to the volume of its gas reserves, Israel is not just no Qatar – it is not even an Egypt.

        Despite recent claims to the contrary, this gas is not “Putin’s horror” because it would not be sufficient to singlehandedly threaten Russia’s supreme role in European energy imports. Further, it is not even clear Israel has a viable pipeline route to European markets given the unfriendly nature of Turkey’s government.

        The gas contained by Tamar and Leviathan are large enough to boost Israel’s economy and play a positive role in its relationships with Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians. But in all three cases such deals are still only tentative and face major domestic opposition.

        Additionally, extracting the gas requires billions of dollars in foreign investment, and domestic pressures at home have forced the government to keep moving goal posts for taxation. This is arguably what convinced Australian firm Woodside Petroleum to opt out of a deal this spring that would have given it a stake in bringing Leviathan online and motivated it to help transform the gas into LNG for export.

        At this rate, energy expert Gal Luft worries that prematurely proclaiming Israel an energy superpower is “hallucinatory and reckless,” warning that Israel faces a real possibility “the gas will be left in the ground”.

        There is a great deal that the U.S. and Israel can do to partner on energy security, from joint R&D on unconventional energy extraction to advising Israel’s Navy how to better protect each of our civilians on Israeli natural gas rigs from terrorist attacks like the rockets allegedly fired at them this summer by Hamas.

        Indeed, the recent signing ceremony between Israel and Jordan was hosted by America’s ambassador to Amman because of the role U.S. energy experts played in facilitating a deal between the two sides. At the very least, this announcement is a reassuring step in the right direction for preventing Luft’s nightmare scenario.

        Yet we continue to face common challenges in the field of energy security. Let’s not declare victory prematurely.

        http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/crude-success/

      • Walid on February 24, 2015, 9:04 am

        What’s behind Israel’s blockade of Gaza;from Global Research 2011:

        “Israel Authorises Mining of Natural Gas off Gaza Shore in Defiance of Palestinian Sovereignty

        This is the real reason for the maritime blockade of Gaza: Gaza’s offshore natural gas. Denying Palestine its rights over Gaza territorial waters is intent upon appropriating Gaza’s extensive reserves of natural gas.

        Michel Chossudovsky, June13, 2011

        Tel Aviv – PNN – The Israeli Ministry of Infrastructure has demanded permission from the gas company Nobel Energy to start working in developing the natural gas field that was found off the Gaza Strip shoreline, under the pretext that Israel fears gas shortages in the coming year.

        In a press statement on Monday, the Israeli Ministry of Infrastructre said that it officially requested permission from Nobel Energy to submit a work programme to dig and develop gas fields by July.

        The ministry explained that the reason official permission has been sought before digging the oil is because the field is close to the territorial waters of the Gaza Strip.

        Israel gets natural gas from Egypt through an agreement in which Israel pays less than internationally recognised prices to Egypt. After the Egyptian uprising and the toppling of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian people demanded that the channeling of gas to Israel would be stopped until a new agreement could be reached, so that the Egyptian people could benefit first from their natural resources.

        A large concentration of natural gas was found off the Gaza shoreline, and the British Gas group along with Lebanese partners were given the right to dig there and sell the gas during an agreement wthat was signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.

        The British company had already set up two gas wells called Gaza Marine 1 and Gaza Marine 2. According to the British Gas group, the natural reservoir offf the Gaza shore is estimated at 1.5 trillion cubic meters, at a net worth of around $4 billion US dollars.

        However, Chossudovsky, a Canadian economist, estimated that the amount of gas in Palestine is much more, adding that it could make the future Palestinian state as rich as Kuwait, due to the average population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

        Nobel Energy is a US based company based in New York that digs oil and natural gas internationally.

        Dmitry Dliani, Fatah top official, commented on the Israeli Ministry of Infrastructure decision as a license to steal the Gaza gas, as part of Israeli attacks on Palestinian rights. Dliani demanded international protection for the Palestinian natural gas reservoir off the Gaza shore.”

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-authorises-mining-of-natural-gas-off-gaza-shore-in-defiance-of-palestinian-sovereignty/25259

      • American on February 24, 2015, 9:06 am

        ” But even they admit that a decade from now Israel could only meet between 20 and 40% of its overall needs, suggesting that producing enough oil for significant exports remains an unproven, distant concept. – ”

        That is the finding on Isr gas in all the gas industry trade journals.
        The more you understand Isr the more you see that it isn’t viable—it must literally *consume every ounce of every resource around it to stay alive, water, rivers, gas, farmable land, buildable land—everything, …..and it cant reproduce those resources. ..and the more population they aim for the worse it gets….they will never be able to support it.
        Its not going to last —its like a cannibal tribe that ate all it neighbors and then died out for lack of more neighbors to eat.

  11. Kay24 on February 24, 2015, 6:27 am

    According to this article the US also lied about Iran’s no nuclear program

    “U.S. and Israel Busted Lying About Iran’s Nuclear Program
    Posted on February 23, 2015 by WashingtonsBlog
    CIA and Netanyahu Busted Hyping Nuclear Threat

    We noted in 2012 that top American, Israeli and European leaders admitted that Iran had no plans to build a nuclear bomb.

    The Jerusalem Post reports today:

    A new leak of secret intelligence documents obtained by Al Jazeera shows that the Mossad expressed the belief that Tehran was not pursuing a nuclear weapon just a month after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Islamic Republic was a year away from becoming nuclear-armed.

    The Guardian confirms the story.

    In addition, Bloomberg reported last week:

    Details of a 15-year-old Central Intelligence Agency sting emerging from a court case in the U.S. may prompt United Nations monitors to reassess some evidence related to Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons work, two western diplomats said.

    ***

    The CIA passed doctored blueprints for nuclear-weapon components to Iran in February 2000, trial documents have shown.

    “This story suggests a possibility that hostile intelligence agencies could decide to plant a ‘smoking gun’ in Iran for the IAEA to find,” said Peter Jenkins, the U.K.’s former envoy to the Vienna-based agency. “That looks like a big problem.”

    ***

    “The goal is to plant this substantial piece of deception information on the Iranian nuclear-weapons program, sending them down blind alleys, wasting their time and money,” according to a May 1997 cable submitted to the court.

    The project remains relevant because elements of the IAEA’s suspicions about Iran rest on older information provided by intelligence agencies.

    ***

    The CIA sting shows the kind of tactics that the U.S. and its allies have used against Iran, according to Dan Joyner, a law professor at the University of Alabama.

    “The falsification of nuclear-related documents is a very real part of such states’ efforts to frustrate Iran’s nuclear program,” said Joyner, who has written extensively on nuclear proliferation risks. “This revelation highlights the dangers of reliance by the IAEA upon evidence concerning Iran provided to it by third party states whose political agendas are antithetical to Iran.”

    In other words, the CIA gave nuclear plans to Iran to frame it for having nuclear ambitions.

    This is especially interesting given that the U.S. has already used false pretenses to carry out regime change in Iran, and has been planning another round of regime change for more than two decades.

    And the U.S. has been claiming for more than 30 years that Iran was on the verge of nuclear capability.”

  12. Stephen Shenfield on February 24, 2015, 6:49 am

    The world urgently needs to switch from hydrocarbons, including gas, to renewable energy in order to bring global heating under control. I would have thought this would be an especially urgent imperative for a country like Jordan, which already has very high summer temperatures. And Jordan surely also has plenty of terrain that is suitable for the collection of solar energy.

  13. hophmi on February 24, 2015, 8:33 am

    Another example of how hatred of Israel is prioritized above progress for other countries in the Middle East.

    • Walid on February 25, 2015, 5:19 am

      This Gaza gas angle looks like we’re backt to the pre-Cast Lead deal involving British Gas/CCC/Abbas/Israel that was cobbled together by Blair. WE were told that this deal had died a natural death but now we are being told that the 1999 deal is still alive and kicking. Up to a few weeks back, the gas deal for Jordan involved only Israel but it kicked up a powerful national storm both in and out of the Jordanian government. Now out of the blue, the British Gas/CCC deal of 1999 is back in the news, which I suspect is a decoy to finalize the gas deal with Israel. In any event, the 1999 British Gas/CCC deal is actually also an Israeli deal, which means that Israel will have out its hands on Gaza gas.

      Does Hamas have anything to say about this pretended Gaza deal?

      From Global Research with maps:

      “… Who Owns the Gas Fields

      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 (BG Group) 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.

      The election of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 was a major turning point. Palestine’s sovereignty over the offshore gas fields was challenged in the Israeli Supreme Court. Sharon stated unequivocally that “Israel would never buy gas from Palestine” intimating that Gaza’s offshore gas reserves belong to Israel.

      In 2003, Ariel Sharon, vetoed an initial deal, which would allow British Gas to supply Israel with natural gas from Gaza’s offshore wells. (The Independent, August 19, 2003)

      The election victory of Hamas in 2006 was conducive to the demise of the Palestinian Authority, which became confined to the West Bank, under the proxy regime of Mahmoud Abbas.

      In 2006, British Gas “was close to signing a deal to pump the gas to Egypt.” (Times, May, 23, 2007). According to reports, British Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened on behalf of Israel with a view to shunting the agreement with Egypt.

      The following year, in May 2007, the Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert “to buy gas from the Palestinian Authority.” The proposed contract was for $4 billion, with profits of the order of $2 billion of which one billion was to go the Palestinians.

      Tel Aviv, however, had no intention on sharing the revenues with Palestine. An Israeli team of negotiators was set up by the Israeli Cabinet to thrash out a deal with the BG Group, bypassing both the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority:

      “Israeli defence authorities want the Palestinians to be paid in goods and services and insist that no money go to the Hamas-controlled Government.” (Ibid, emphasis added)

      The objective was essentially to nullify the contract signed in 1999 between the BG Group and the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat.

      Under the 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:

      ”Mossad Chief Meir Dagan opposed the transaction on security grounds, that the proceeds would fund terror”. (Member of Knesset Gilad Erdan, Address to the Knesset on “The Intention of Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Purchase Gas from the Palestinians When Payment Will Serve Hamas,” March 1, 2006, quoted in Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, Does the Prospective Purchase of British Gas from Gaza’s Coastal Waters Threaten Israel’s National Security? Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, October 2007)

      Israel’s intent was to foreclose the possibility that royalties be paid to the Palestinians. In December 2007, The BG Group withdrew from the negotiations with Israel and in January 2008 they closed their office in Israel.(BG website).

      Invasion Plan on The Drawing Board

      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:

      “Both Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler agreed to inform BG of Israel’s wish to renew the talks.

      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.” (Globes online- Israel’s Business Arena, June 23, 2008)

      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.

      Moreover, these negotiations with British Gas were conducted by the Ehud Olmert government with the knowledge that a military invasion was on the drawing board. In all likelihood, a new “post war” political-territorial arrangement for the Gaza strip was also being contemplated by the Israeli government.

      In fact, negotiations between British Gas and Israeli officials were ongoing in October 2008, 2-3 months prior to the commencement of the bombings on December 27th.

      In November 2008, the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Infrastructures instructed Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to enter into negotiations with British Gas, on the purchase of natural gas from the BG’s offshore concession in Gaza. (Globes, November 13, 2008)

      “Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler wrote to IEC CEO Amos Lasker recently, informing him of the government’s decision to allow negotiations to go forward, in line with the framework proposal it approved earlier this year.

      The IEC board, headed by chairman Moti Friedman, approved the principles of the framework proposal a few weeks ago. The talks with BG Group will begin once the board approves the exemption from a tender.” (Globes Nov. 13, 2008)

      Gaza and Energy Geopolitics

      The military occupation of Gaza is intent upon transferring the sovereignty of the gas fields to Israel in violation of international law.

      What can we expect in the wake of the invasion?

      What is the intent of Israel with regard to Palestine’s Natural Gas reserves?

      A new territorial arrangement, with the stationing of Israeli and/or “peacekeeping” troops?

      The militarization of the entire Gaza coastline, which is strategic for Israel?

      The outright confiscation of Palestinian gas fields and the unilateral declaration of Israeli sovereignty over Gaza’s maritime areas?

      If this were to occur, the Gaza gas fields would be integrated into Israel’s offshore installations, which are contiguous to those of the Gaza Strip. (See Map 1 above).

      These various offshore installations are also linked up to Israel’s energy transport corridor, extending from the port of Eilat, which is an oil pipeline terminal, on the Red Sea to the seaport – pipeline terminal at Ashkelon, and northwards to Haifa, and eventually linking up through a proposed Israeli-Turkish pipeline with the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

      Ceyhan is the terminal of the Baku, Tblisi Ceyhan Trans Caspian pipeline. “What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel’s Tipline.” (See Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, Global Research, July 23, 2006)”

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/war-and-natural-gas-the-israeli-invasion-and-gaza-s-offshore-gas-fields/11680

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