Blood and Energy: Israel’s Gaze Fixed on Gaza’s Gas Riches Amid Genocidal War
As Israel’s horrific bombardment of Gaza continues, the death toll exceeds 11,000. Mainly helpless civilians caught in airstrikes followed by ruthless ground invasion. Israel is hellbent on destroying Hamas no matter the cost, even as the UN warns of genocide.
But this is more than collective punishment for Hamas’ attacks. It is a calculated land grab, with resources as the prize. In 1999, gas deposits were found off Gaza’s shore. The discovery of Gaza’s Marine 1 and 2 gas fields promised economic prosperity. But Israel blocked Palestinian development, insisting the gas flow through Israeli facilities instead.
The UN estimates Gaza’s gas could provide over $4 billion income, a lifeline for Palestinians mired in poverty. Yet Israel keeps these riches out of reach. Instead, it declared its own nearby Leviathan field, valued at $524 billion. Palestinians are denied $47 billion in lost revenue.
Israel insists this war is about destroying Hamas and the safe return of hostages…
The truth is there are many ways to destroy Hamas, and there are better ways of ensuring hostages are realised, but the current campaign of utter destruction in Gaza will give neither outcome.
Israel’s brutal actions in Gaza since October will only breed more despair and extremism for generations to come. The bloodshed and devastation witnessed will turn countless ordinary Palestinians into future Hamas supporters, fueling the endless cycle of violence.
Far from destroying Hamas, the indiscriminate bombing and carnage will only help swell its ranks with new recruits radicalised by their grief and trauma. From the rubble and wreckage, Israel is sowing the seeds of future threats, not enhancing its security.
The memories of this military campaign will be cynically used by Hamas as a recruiting poster for decades to come. An entire lost generation will grow up in Gaza knowing only suffering, hardship and hatred under Israel’s iron boot.
Now, under cover of self-defence and muted international complicity, Netanyahu has opened the way to seize Gaza’s gas potential through brute force. The utter destruction of infrastructure and civilian massacre ensure there is no one left to object, resistance removed.
Israel’s Genocide in Gaza: Riches, in Oil Gas and Land the Prize
Innocent lives are extinguished, mere obstacles before billions in resource wealth. This is calculated genocide for profit, not security. The world turns a blind eye, but the reality remains stark. This is pure profit weighed up in shekels.
This is a coldly calculated campaign to reap Gaza’s gas and oil riches through genocide. The victims are not collateral damage – they are human obstacles to billions in resource wealth.
The discoveries of natural gas in the Levant Basin are in the range of 122 trillion cubic feet while recoverable oil is estimated at 1.7 billion barrels, according to the study, entitled “The Economic Cost of Occupation for the Palestinian People: The Unrealized Oil and Natural Gas Potential.”
This offered an opportunity to distribute and share billions in untapped gas and oil. This could have promoted cooperation if equitably shared. But history proves that human nature favours greed over justice. One party invariably wants it all, no matter the means.
The strategic chessboard comes into focus as Russia’s gas continues to face sanctions, and the Suez Canal, a lucrative passage, showed how volatile it can be. Israel emerges as Europe’s saviour, its energy a balm for a continent in need. Washington, in its wisdom, blesses this newfound role, cementing Israel’s place as a “key global player.”
In March 2022, media reported that a Turkey-Israel gas pipeline was being discussed behind the scenes as one of Europe’s alternatives to Russian energy. The idea, first conceived years ago, is to build a subsea pipeline from Turkey to Israel’s largest offshore natural gas field, Leviathan. Gas would flow to Turkey and on to southern Europe looking to diversify away from Russia.
A proposed Israeli canal looms large, a potential rival to the Suez. The ambition to reroute trade routes echoes a bygone era when excavation dreams danced in policymakers’ heads. We all know how one stuck ship in the Suez can cause an economic downturn…the Ever Given, the same ship that launched a thousand memes when it got stuck across the Suez Canal in March 2021 and held up nearly $60 billion of trade lays witness to that tale of woe.
If it goes ahead, this new canal will be almost one-third longer than the 193.3 km Suez Canal, at around 292.9 km and an estimated cost of between $16 and $55 billion. Whoever controls the canal will have enormous influence over the global supply routes for oil, grain and shipping. The sole obstacle is the inconvenient presence of Palestinians in Gaza, standing in the way of Netanyahu’s grand plans.
With Gaza razed to the ground, it would enable the canal planners to literally cut corners and reduce costs by diverting the canal straight through the middle of the territory.
Around 12 per cent of the world’s trade passes through Suez on 18,000 ships a year, so you can imagine that a lot of countries will be lining up for a share of the deal. The Suez Canal is worth a staggering $9.4 billion to Egypt, which has enjoyed record-breaking revenues this year.
While this project may buy Netanyahu some redemption for intelligence failures, the people will not forget such destruction for corporate interests. No matter the geopolitical and economic incentives, the systematic slaughter of civilians in the quest for a canal can never be justified. There are surely limits on what can be excused in the name of progress and profits.
Coveting Thy Neighbours Resources
We can see how it all panned out as Israel blocked any development of Gaza’s Marine 1 and 2 gas fields, citing “security concerns” since Hamas 2007 when was elected. In 2007, Israel imposed a naval blockade, prohibiting offshore work. It later declared sovereignty over Gaza’s waters despite clear violations of international law.
The Oslo Accords of 1995 granted the Palestinian Authority the ‘right to exercise sovereignty’ over its maritime territory. Four years later, In 1999, British Gas (BG) discovered the existence of natural gas in the Gaza Marine fields, 20 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza.
Ruthless bombing now clears the path for total Israeli control, complemented by tanks and troops trampling into the ground all opposition. The victims are collateral damage in this resource grab, discounted for corporate gain.
But the truth remains plain as day – beneath the hollow rhetoric, lies the stark reality – Gaza’s people are discounted and dismissed to serve Israeli energy dominance. Justice demands action before an entire nation is wiped out over fossil fuels. Palestinian lives must not be reduced to inconvenient barriers before vast riches.
Behind the curtain, gas majors celebrate, signing deals while the ink is still wet on the death toll. The industrial-scale slaughter reveals the true face of war – a racket where human lives are expendable in the pursuit of fossil fuel riches.
The Leviathan Gas field also runs through Lebonon’s territorial waters. That will be a different story of death and destruction.