Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, January 2009
The Israeli Invasion and Gaza's Offshore Gas Fields
ccun.org Editor's Note:
By Hassan El-Najjar
The similarity between the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and the 2009 Israeli Invasion of Gaza Strip is astounding. The planners seem to be the same, with identical tactics, identical strategy, and identical goals.
A period of weakening represented by a long embargo and siege (13 years in Iraq and 2 years in Gaza), a shock and awe air campaign, then land campaign, use of internationally prohibited weapons, and new weapons tested on Arabs in Iraq and Palestine.
There were fake justification for the two invasions (weapons of mass destruction and links with Al-Qaeda in the case of Iraq and launching rockets from Gaza).
Soon, we discover the real reasons of the invasion, that is regime change and control of oil and gas resources.
As soon as the US forces completed the occupation of Iraq, Haliburton was given the opportunity to control the Iraqi oil and gas resources.
In the case of Gaza, the Israeli terrorist government has been preparing for this invasion to regain control over the Gaza offshore gas field, after losing it when Hamas said it would renegotiate the contract, as readers may notice in the following article by Michel Chossudovsky.
Thus, we have been witnessing a series of wars in which Zionist-controlled NATO countries have been relentless in their efforts to control oil and gas resources in the Middle East, since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.
During this devilish process, millions of Iraqis and thousands of Palestinians were killed and injured, the entire population in each country has been terrorized for decades, the entire Arab and Muslim worlds were destabilized.
Historians can truly refer to all these wars as "Oil and Gas Wars."
"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.
"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
"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.
"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
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