bm292 The Battle for Gaza Gas Reserves

In 1999 the news came out that there were significant natural gas supplies off the coast of Gaza. Negotiation soon took place between the Palestinian Authority, Israel, British Gas, and a Athens based company. The deal they produced would have given the PA 10% of the profits, though it was to be put in a special trust fund that only the Fatah political party could touch. However that deal was never signed, and in 2006 Hamas was the big winner in legislative elections, and they immediately declared the deal unfair and demanded it be renegotiated. The other parties would not renegotiate.

Meanwhile at the same time, Israel’s gas reserves off their coast are set to run out in only a few years. And a recent import deal they made with an Egyptian gas company, was declared illegal by an Egyptian court and that important source had been shut down.
Now we are over 20 days into an Israeli military operation which has been explained as an effort to hunt down Hamas who are a danger to the security of Israel. Hardly anywhere in the mainstream media is there mention of the very big issue of gas resources and the supply situation Israel finds itself in. By law, as of this month, the new president of the PA was supposed to be elected. But because elections can’t be held, the presidency is supposed to pass down to the deputy speaker of the parliament (the actual speaker is in an Israeli jail). The deputy speaker is from the Hamas party, which would mean once again, that the gas deal powerful interests tried to hammer through earlier this decade with the collaboration of Fatah leaders, would most definitely have to be renegotiated in order to increase the benefit for the Palestinian Authority… which would mean a loss in profits for British Gas, Israel, and Fatah associates.

During this podcast I speak with David Schermerhorn, a film producer, world travel, and concerned world citizen. He has been on three boat trips that challenged the maritime blockade by Israel, cutting off the Gaza strip from the outside world and keeping Gaza fisherman from fishing. He’s also put together a detailed timeline explaining the relationship between control of the Gaza waters, gas reserves, and military activity in Gaza.


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10 thoughts on “bm292 The Battle for Gaza Gas Reserves

  • January 17, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    This news needs to be heard. Thanks for getting it out there!

  • Pingback: Rantings of a Sandmonkey » The Ghaza War is over Gas!

  • January 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

    You mean that the thousands of rockets Hamas launched at Israel had nothing to do with it? Wow, I’ll have to think hard before this sinks in! Awesome, dude!

    • January 20, 2009 at 2:03 am

      Hi Eva. Oh I didn’t mean anything that stark when it comes to the supposed causes of this mess. No, rather my intention to to point out what is no small part of this violent and corrupt puzzle. And i definitely don’t like when its just summarized as a matter of self-defense or safety.. no no.. there are resources and there is money to be had. – thanks for the comment.

  • January 19, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I thank and praise all the Gods in the heavens that I am not as stupid as you!

    Why believe the truth when a juvenile conspiracy theory will do…

    Sad cunt!

    • January 20, 2009 at 2:04 am

      It surprises me that someone that has it all figured out would even need to comment. Id argue its a waste of your time.

  • January 23, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Nice theory.

    Unfortunately, its not backed by reality.

    If Israel wanted to seize the gas off of Gaza’s coast it could do so with impunity, and lacking any naval military resources whatever, the Gazans couldn’t do anything about it.

    You don’t fight a close-quarters war in Gaza city to seize resources off shore or to renegotiate a contract with a party that doesn’t even recognize your existence. That doesn’t make any kind of sense.

    But FAR more to the point, Israel just found a huge source of natural gas off its own coastline in Haifa, likely greatly reducing the signficance of this Gazan depost.

  • January 27, 2009 at 1:06 am

    Anon. first off welcome, though i wish youd feel free enough to use a name, glad to have comments.
    The part about gas reserves off the coast of gaza, and what took place in the late 90’s and the deal negociations.. much of this program is actually a collection of events that actually took place. I guess the theory youre referring to is that there is some connection. Which is probably where we disagree, history teaches me that resources are always involved when it comes to politics and conflict. But you see different, ok.
    Dig around youll find several reports on a cross section of media and financial reporting sources that say Israel will exhaust key offshore gasfields rather soon. The haifa discovery doesnt change there desire to get at gas in their region, especially gas that can be gotten for cheap prices under obscure circumstances such as what takes place in the waters off Gaza.
    And finally, although I doubt you want to consider it, Hamas officials have already said they in fact would recognize israel.. but alas.. no wanted to hear it.. not even the extremists associated with their own party. I guess.

  • January 30, 2009 at 3:52 am

    That’s really an interesting ‘theory’. I have no problem with the second part of your story since I already hate Israel, so it will be very easy for someone in my position of hatred to believe that Israel had a hidden agenda for its’ war in Gaza. However, I’m so addicted to news and political reports on the Middle East and especially during the Israeli offensive; don’t you think Hamas would have gone public about that if it’s really true? Why we didn’t see a Hamas official on the TV screen from Damascus saying:

    • February 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm

      Its not necessarily a hidden agenda.. its simply an agenda that doesn’t sell… If you want to sell a war to the public, its far easier to call it a matter of security and not a matter of economic influence.. sorry I know you know this I dont mean to be all elementary.
      Hamas has said since they were elected, that the deal was tantamount to theft and that it needed to be renegotiated.. that is no secret. However, its also not sexy news that makes the front pages or tonights TV headlines. And plenty of elements within hamas have a smiliar goal.. selling the idea of a permanent conflict in order to retain power.
      Anyway I dont think it will convince you, but thats my answer.

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