$4 billion worth of natural gas off Gaza

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July 13, 2009

Cynthia McKinney, the Israeli Navy and $4 billion worth of natural gas off Gaza

by Ann Garrison

"The military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves ... The military occupation of Gaza is intent upon transferring the sovereignty of the gas fields to Israel in violation of international law," wrote Michel Chossudovsky on Jan. 8 in "War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza's Offshore Gas Fields."
On June 30, Israeli Naval gunships surrounded the "Spirit of Humanity," a Free Gaza movement boat traveling in international waters 60 miles off the coast of Israel, and arrested 21 activists, from 11 countries, including former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who had boarded the boat in Larnaca, Cyprus, with medical aid, toys and building supplies, for Gaza's besieged Palestinian population. They had hoped not only to deliver aid but also to challenge the illegal blockade imposed by the Israeli government on Gaza.

Upon her release and return, Cynthia McKinney spoke to WBAIX-New York from New York's JFK Airport, where she reported that the Israeli Navy had towed the "Spirit of Humanity," not directly to Port Ashdod but on a circuitous route, bypassing the Gaza Coast. This, she said, suggested that the Israeli Navy is engaged in activity that they do not want observed off the Gaza Strip, known to be the site of billions of dollars worth of natural gas reserves.

Barack Obama, in his speech proposing U.S. reconciliation with the Moslem world, in Cairo, on June 3, said nothing of the estimated $4 billion worth of natural gas off the coast of Gaza, nor of the oil and natural gas in Iraq, Iran or Sudan or the pipeline projects to move Central Asian oil and natural gas through through Afghanistan and other parts of Central Asia.

Here's former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney on the Israeli Navy's circuitous route to shore, with the "Spirit of Humanity" in tow:

Israel has two oil and natural gas drilling platforms north of Gaza, which some believe they are using to slant drill into Gaza's natural gas reserves.

Here are links to more reporting and analysis:

Responding to this story at Examiner.com, where it was originally posted, "JT" wrote: "This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks. Natural gas has recently been discovered 50 miles off the coast of Haifa by a company named Noble Energy. The estimated find has just been upgraded to 6.3 trillion cubic feet and is valued at over $35 billion.

"Meanwhile, another company, Zion Oil and Gas, is drilling on land to 18,000-foot depths much like the off-shore natural gas discovery. Where there's gas, oil is not far behind. The finds could actually be geologically connected. If they find oil, this would mean energy independence for Israel and a geopolitical earthquake for the Middle East. Watch this one close. It could be history in the making."

San Francisco writer Ann Garrison is the energy policy examiner for Examiner.com, where this story first appeared. She also blogs at ColoredOpinions.blogspot.com and is the website writer-editor ofthepriceofuranium.com. She can be reached at anniegarrison@thepriceofuranium.com.

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