War in Gaza = War Over Natural Gas?

George Washington's picture

We extensively documented that the wars in the Middle East and North Africa are largely about oil and gas.  (Update: Iran has just started building its gas pipeline to Syria.)

As Professor Michel Chossudovsky noted in 2009, gas may be a central reason for the war over Gaza as well:

This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.


British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon’s Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.


The rights to the offshore gas field are respectively British Gas (60 percent); Consolidated Contractors (CCC) (30 percent); and the Investment Fund of the Palestinian Authority (10 percent). (Haaretz, October 21, 2007).


The PA-BG-CCC agreement includes field development and the construction of a gas pipeline.(Middle East Economic Digest, Jan 5, 2001).


The BG licence covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. (See Map below). It should be noted that 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.


The BG Group drilled two wells in 2000: Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2. Reserves are estimated by British Gas to be of the order of 1.4 trillion cubic feet, valued at approximately 4 billion dollars. These are the figures made public by British Gas. The size of Palestine’s gas reserves could be much larger.

gazagasmap War in Gaza = War Over Natural Gas?
Map 1

gazagasmap2 War in Gaza = War Over Natural Gas?

Map 2

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.




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)

LevantineEnergyCorridor War in Gaza = War Over Natural Gas?
Map 3

Is Middle Eastern politics boiling down – yet again – to oil and gas?

Bonus:  Hamas Shouldn’t Fire Rockets … But Israel Has Violated HUNDREDS of UN Resolutions

And WELCOME to these commenters (this is real, not satire):


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Gas Cooktop's picture

Gas cooktop will be cheaper in Gaza if the war will stop

MikeMcGspot's picture

Thanks GW, Perhaps some are driving conflict for the energy but I think if we could take this factor off the table with the wave of a magic wand to give everyone all the BTUs in whatever form they wanted you would still be left with a bunch of pissed off folks wanting to kill for their god or honor or any number of other reasons tied to collective memory with a high output of blood lust.

It is all moving from a simmer to a boil and that boil has to pop by way of confligration.

Only then when the passions are spent willl the new prgram work and people start to chill for a while.

Until we forget again.

stiler's picture

it's not a war over natgas, it's over enmity and envy of one brother against the other. Israel never should have given up Gaza. Appeasing popular opinion never works. Politics aside, Israel is a nation again after nearly 2,000 yrs! Nobody wanted that God-forsaken land before the Jews repopulated it. Why now? Why do gentiles envy the Jews? Its a devilish kind of thing. Suffice it to say, antisemitism is a sign of one's heathenness. He sold his birthrite. Take up your birthrite in Messiah Jesus.


frostfan's picture

The more you read the article, the less sense it makes.  All the quotes are over five years old.  There's way too many facts on the ground after what was written.  Not that the anti-zionists care about that kind of thing.  They see headline "Jews fight for oil and gas" and slobber over some new way to blame Israel for the ills of the planet.   But come on people, there is absolutely nothing new or relevant in this article.  It's so weak, in fact, that GW adds almost no commentary.

stu11's picture

I find the premise of the article a little weak.  The concept of a thieving Jew is a little hard to grasp. 

No Euros please we're British's picture

Pah, gas wars?! Rank amateurs. Now those Germans knew about gas wars, Chlorine, phosgene, mustard gas, now they were men's gasses, non of yer namby pamby "natuural" gas.

DMac's picture

Much of Israel's militarism regarding Palestine is due to water.  I think access to the gas fields is an afterthought.

Get up to speed - this will affect everyone by ~2030 or so:


More detail:



frostfan's picture

They're fighting over water in Gaza?   West Bank I'd understand but Gaza?

my puppy for prez's picture


Israel’s Shortsighted Assassination By Gershon Baskin • New York Times November 16, 2012

JERUSALEM -- Ahmed al-Jabari, — the strongman of Hamas, the head of its military wing, the man responsible for the abduction of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit — was assassinated on Wednesday by Israeli missiles. Why?

Israel’s government has declared that the aim of the current strikes against Gaza is to rebuild deterrence so that no rockets will be fired on Israel. Israel’s targeted killings of Hamas leaders in the past sent the Hamas leadership underground and prevented rocket attacks on Israel temporarily. According to Israeli leaders, deterrence will be achieved once again by targeting and killing military and political leaders in Gaza and hitting hard at Hamas’s military infrastructure. But this policy has never been effective in the long term, even when the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, was killed by Israel. Hamas didn’t lay down its guns then, and it won’t stop firing rockets at Israel now without a cease-fire agreement.

When we were negotiating with Hamas to release Mr. Shalit, members of the Israeli team believed that Mr. Jabari wouldn’t make a deal because holding Mr. Shalit was a kind of “life insurance policy.” As long as Mr. Jabari held Mr. Shalit, Israelis believed, the Hamas leader knew he was safe. The Israeli government had a freer hand to kill Mr. Jabari after Mr. Shalit was released in October 2011. His insurance policy was linked to their assessment of the value of keeping him alive. This week, that policy expired.

I believe that Israel made a grave and irresponsible strategic error by deciding to kill Mr. Jabari. No, Mr. Jabari was not a man of peace; he didn’t believe in peace with Israel and refused to have any direct contact with Israeli leaders and even nonofficials like me. My indirect dealings with Mr. Jabari were handled through my Hamas counterpart, Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of Hamas, who had received Mr. Jabari’s authorization to deal directly with me. Since Mr. Jabari took over the military wing of Hamas, the only Israeli who spoke with him directly was Mr. Shalit, who was escorted out of Gaza by Mr. Jabari himself. (It is important to recall that Mr. Jabari not only abducted Mr. Shalit, but he also kept him alive and ensured that he was cared for during his captivity.)

Passing messages between the two sides, I was able to learn firsthand that Mr. Jabari wasn’t just interested in a long-term cease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previous cease-fire understandings brokered by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Mr. Jabari enforced those cease-fires only after confirming that Israel was prepared to stop its attacks on Gaza. On the morning that he was killed, Mr. Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel, including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. This draft was agreed upon by me and Hamas’s deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad, when we met last week in Egypt.

The goal was to move beyond the patterns of the past. For years, it has been the same story: Israeli intelligence discovers information about an impending terrorist attack from Gaza. The Israeli Army takes pre-emptive action with an airstrike against the suspected terror cells, which are often made up of fighters from groups like Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees or Salafi groups not under Hamas’s control but functioning within its territory. These cells launch rockets into Israeli towns near Gaza, and they often miss their targets. The Israeli Air Force responds swiftly. The typical result is between 10 and 25 casualties in Gaza, zero casualties in Israel and huge amounts of property damage on both sides.

Other key Hamas leaders and members of the Shura Council, its senior decision-making body, supported a new cease-fire effort because they, like Mr. Jabari, understood the futility of successive rocket attacks against Israel that left no real damage on Israel and dozens of casualties in Gaza. Mr. Jabari was not prepared to give up the strategy of “resistance,” meaning fighting Israel, but he saw the need for a new strategy and was prepared to agree to a long-term cease-fire.

This war is being presented in Israel, once again, as a war of “no choice.” The people of Israel are rallying around the flag as would be expected anywhere in the world. The United States government has voiced its support of the Israeli operation by stating, “Israel has the full right to defend itself and protect its citizens.” It certainly does, but we must ask whether there is another way to achieve the same goal without the use of force.

Israel has used targeted killings, ground invasions, drones, F-16s, economic siege and political boycott. The only thing it has not tried and tested is reaching an agreement (through third parties) for a long-term mutual cease-fire.

No government can tolerate having its civilian population attacked by rockets from a neighboring territory. And the firing of thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel must end. There was a chance for a mutually agreed cease-fire. The difference between the proposal I drafted in cooperation with my Hamas counterpart and past proposals was that it included both a mechanism for dealing with impending terror threats and a clear definition of breaches. This draft was to be translated and shared with both Mr. Jabari and Israeli security officials, who were aware of our mediation efforts.

In the draft, which I understand Mr. Jabari saw hours before he was killed, it was proposed that Israeli intelligence information transmitted through the Egyptians would be delivered to Mr. Jabari so that he could take action aimed at preventing an attack against Israel. Mr. Jabari and his forces would have had an opportunity to prove that they were serious when they told Egyptian intelligence officials that they were not interested in escalation. If Mr. Jabari had agreed to the draft, then we could have prevented this new round of violence; if he had refused, then Israel would have likely attacked in much the same way as it is now.

The proposal was at least worth testing. Moreover, it included the understanding that if Israel were to take out a real ticking bomb — people imminently preparing to launch a rocket — such a strike would not be considered a breach of the cease-fire and would not lead to escalation.

Instead, Mr. Jabari is dead — and with him died the possibility of a long-term cease-fire. Israel may have also compromised the ability of Egyptian intelligence officials to mediate a short-term cease-fire and placed Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt at risk.

This was not inevitable, and cooler heads could have prevailed. Mr. Jabari’s assassination removes one of the more practical actors on the Hamas side.  Who will replace him? I am not convinced that Israel’s political and military leaders have adequately answered that question. (Emphasis supplied).

Gershon Baskin is a co-chairman of the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, a columnist for The Jerusalem Postand the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Shalit.

W10321303's picture

"It's always about the money, mon ami"  Poirot

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Oh come on.  There's no gas there.  The Romans looked for gas there in the 3rd century under the emperor Diplodocus.  They barely found enough to fill a butane lighter.  Besides you'd have to drill thru 150,000 feet of rock.  This gas is underwater, so it's wet gasEver try burning a wet match? It couldn't warm a shepard's out house, but it would probably raise the sea level 6 feet if you tried to burn it.

LOL.  Hubbert says you're wasting your time.

unirealist's picture

Everybody and every nation believes they have ethics/morality...

...until they don't like the direction those ethics/morals are taking them.

Then all of a sudden there are EXCEPTIONS to the ethical/moral guidance.  As in this case. 

It's not even about the money per se.  Four billion is chump change.  What Israel is uptight about is that the Palestinian's share would be spent on better rockets.

And God forbid the Israelis lose even a fraction of their overwhelming military advantage over their slave population.

I've really tried to hard not to take sides in this STUPID conflict.  But it really is making me sick to see the devastation in Gaza contrasted against the minor damage in Israel.


john39's picture

Israel, the worlds most militarized nation:


however, the Gaza conflict illustrates the inherent problem of using massive military force against a largely civilian population in Gaza. the only real targets are human, and most of them are totally innocent (the others fighting for survival). Not real helpful on the world stage to be been seen as a murderous bully.

RichardP's picture

... the only real targets are human ...

Rockets are being launched into Israel FROM Gaza.  That means their ARE rockets in GAZA, and maybe manufacturing facilities.  Israel has proven that they can drop bombs with pin-point accuracy.  So Israel is bombing only civilians and ignoring the rockets and possible manufacturing?

... most of them are totally innocent (the others fighting for survival)

Really?  The only reason Arabs are fighting Jews is for survival?

John39 - do you really think people buy what you are selling?  Do you have any idea of how silly you sound?

Rhetorical questions, John.  No need to respond.

otto skorzeny's picture

you're right-I fail to understand why the Palestinians want to take back the land that was stolen from them by the Brits and given to the Euro-Jews all in the name of some 4000 year old book that said it was the yids' "promised land". I have in my possession a 4000 year old book that says that your house is rightfully mine- can you be moved out by 5:00?

frostfan's picture

Funny how they never fought the Egyptians or Brits or Turks but yeah, blame Israel and UK, don't bother with Turkey.  Take "their" land back???   Any time you want to mention the last Arab leader of that land, we'll figure out how to give the land back to them.

ozziindaus's picture

Actually the Jews lived remarkably well under the Ottomans. Better so than under Christinaity. The Palestinians living under israeli oppression however is an entirely different situation. 

Metalredneck's picture

Would that be where the name came from?  GAZ? 

Azannoth's picture

God again spits on the Jews, out of the whole Postage Stamp sized country the Palestinians get the Lion's share of resources.

Does anybody still not believe this race isn't cursed by God himself ?

Bunker Boy's picture

This conflict started because Hamas was shelling Israeli civilians for 3 days. They say they hate the Jews because they are there, they are cursed by Allah, and they have no place in the Middle East. They say Israel is to be annihiliated.

To say this is a war over Gas/ Resources displays a monumental ignorance of the situation; an attempt to place a Western motive over a purely religious one.

The comments displayed on this page about hatred of the Jews, God spitting on them, God cursing Him, is exactly in line with the sentiments of the butcher living in Gaza. There really is very little difference.

No, Israel is not cursed by God. Israel is loved of Yahveh and precious to Him. All who curse Israel will be cursed, and all who bless Israel will be blessed. The nations of the world are lining up to destroy Israel because of their hatred of the God of the universe, who has forever chosen them.

Jesus is a Jew, is the Savior of Israel, and will soon return to redeem His people, His Church on the earth. To the world and those who hate Israel, in the name of Yahveh I say: DO YOUR WORST.

ozziindaus's picture

"Jesus is a Jew, is the Savior of Israel, and will soon return to redeem His people, His Church on the earth."

...and look at how you have repayed him. 


frostfan's picture

Bunker Boy,

You have to understand GW is a paid poster who always blames the USA and Israel for everything.  Everyone else in the planet would be a fucking angel if not for these people in GW's mind and most of his followers.  I don't blame Tyler for having him on the site, he brings eyeballs.  Even twisted anti-semites, anti-zionists and anti-americans buy products and especially conspiracy ones so he's great for the advertisers too.  Someone who doesn't twist the truth will blow a hole through GW's theories.  I'm not buying this argument because offshore oil fields are clearly mapped and recognized by the UN.  Even Lebanon didn't have a chance in the UN once Israel found natural gas  based on their valid claims and lord knows so many love to make Israel's life miserable would have if there was even a 5% chance they were cheating.  Besides, GW was also claiming we went after Libya because they were planning a Pan-African currency like that would ever come true or ever have any value.   Gaza does have valid gas claims and rights.  That's the only part I can start and agree with GW at this time.


my puppy for prez's picture

lol x 1,000,000!!!

So much disinfo, I don't know where to start...

Dawnofinsanity's picture

­Nov. 20, 20:14 GMT:Gaza truce delayed as Israel fails to respond to proposals.

Nov. 20, 20:21 GMT: Israel's negotiation team has reportedly rejected a draft ceasefire and delayed a press conference to announce the truce indefinitely, the Times of Israel reports, citing local media.

Nov. 20, 21:04 GMT: US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has arrived in Tel Aviv and to meet with the Israeli prime minister. She is not expected though to meet with Hamas leaders.

“America's commitment to Israel’s security is rock-solid and unwavering,” Clinton told the press before the closed-door meeting with Netanyahu. “We appreciate President Morsi's personal leadership and Egypt's efforts thus far,” she added.

Nov. 20, 21:50 GMT: A building housing the Agence France-Presse office in Gaza has been hit by an Israeli airstrike, the MENA photo manager for AFP Patrick Baz tweeted.

Clearly the alliance of the major media, banks, and resource companies couldn't sway American's ideals to protect freedom.  Or are the people of Gaza not privy to protection from aggressors?


Clashfan's picture

Bunker Boy, why are you sure that that country with a satanic hexagram on its flag is in fact the Israel of prophecy? Just because they call it Israel?

The whole country is a Freemasonic empire. It was founded by the satanic Rothschilds.

I am on to you's picture

Its not about hate:

Its about justice!

Where were Israel in 1946?

Now you try your best!

john39's picture

yeah, if we are to believe the MSM a whopping three Israelis died in this latest round, which started after the Israelis assassinated Hamas leaders during the middle of peace negotiations.  Meanwhile over a hundred Palestinians have died, including women and children as Israeli bombs rain down on the giant internment camp that is Gaza.  nice propaganda though.

RichardP's picture

Meanwhile over a hundred Palestinians have died ... as Israeli bombs rain down on the giant internment camp that is Gaza.

Speaks volumes about what the militants think of the common man - placing their weapons manufacturing and rocket launchers in the middle of civilian populations.  The unfortunate thing is that this behavior is going to continue.  If I lived in Gaza I think I would be looking for a way to move to a different Arab country further away from Israel.

WorkingClassHero's picture

If you lived in Gaza you'd be begging to leave but the blockade would make it nearly impossible.



SmittyinLA's picture

Government shouldn't be allowed to tax any offshore resource revenues, what is gov't angle in this other than taking a cut between gas miners and gas buyers?  

Govt tax authority should end at the high tide line.

Why is anybody supporting govt "taking a cut"? 

Fuck the Israeli & Hamas govts, they're all crony assholes.

resurger's picture

Thnx GW, i didnt know this!

frostfan's picture

This article sucks balls. There is nothing newer than 2008 written above. It's just a rehash of another idiotic conspiracy. This isn't nearly as stupid as when GW said we were involved in Libya because they were proposing a Pan-African currency to take on the US dollar but it's just fucking lazy. GW barely endorses the above mish mash of paragraphs. Nice paycheck on this one, GW. Cash the check quickly.

GoinFawr's picture

 Who always likes another opposite day? Natty, that's who!

diogeneslaertius's picture

Leviathan totally

so the key take-away here might be the component architecture, we have a whole bunch of NWO agenda line items well-served by the build up to Iran