At one stage they almost signed up for the entire reserve but then political change took place in Gaza when Hamas came to power. This was a severe blow to the Israeli Government which had by now established a war footing.This was confirmed back in 2007 when Lt-Gen. (ret) Moshe Yaalon published an article in the Jewish Center for Public Affairs (Vol 7, No 17 19 October 2007) titled: Does the Prospective Purchase of British Gas from Gaza's Coastal Waters Threaten Israel's National Security? It was in this article that he quoted the following: "It is clear that without an overall military operation to uproot Hamas control of Gaza, no drilling work can take place without the consent of the radical Islamic movement".
After exhaustive talks with BG the Israelis started to lose ground and realised that these huge reserves of gas could disappear from their grasp and be piped to Egypt for conversion to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for export to the UK/USA. In January of 2008 BG had given up all hope of negotiating a deal and closed down their offices in Israel.
By mid 2008 Israel had already started up talks to create a cease fire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. What was ironic was the fact that during this same time Israel was planning a strike on Gaza. It was at this stage that the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair came on the scene and asked the Israeli Government to urgently re- commence talks on the gas issue (despite a deal that had already been struck with the Egyptians).
The Israeli Government then decided to postpone the attack on Gaza as they realised that if they went in prematurely it could turn the Central Government of Palestine against them and thus cause any further talks to fail. The Israelis urgently asked BG to come back to the table to continue talks on the gas issue but again talks failed. By this time the fate of Gaza was sealed.
What was so interesting about these talks was the fact that the Knesset had vigorously refused to accept any natural gas directly from the Palestinians. Two offshore options had been planned:
1. To pipe the gas from the Gaza field directly to Ashkelon.
2. To pipe the gas to el-Arish, Egypt and then via subsea pipe to Ashkelon.
Again we see the ridiculous levels of pride in not accepting anything from your enemy and yet in commissioning option two they would still be taking gas from Palestine but carefully disguised as Egyptian gas. We have seen this same situation in the friction between Israel and Iran when again Israel stated it would never take crude oil directly from Iran. However, Israel does still buy crude oil from Iran via the Netherlands. The tankers arrive, as the Port of Rotterdam for example, where the Israeli commercial agents then purchase the entire load which then transits to Haifa!
As we have seen around the world most of the wars or conflicts are hinged on economic greed for natural resources. We have seen this play out in Iraq and again in Afghanistan. This scenario was to be repeated in Gaza in the hope of removing Hamas, allowing Israel to gain access to its offshore wealth. Thus the IDF carried out a totally disproportionate attack on Gaza in December 2008 by land, sea and air.
This bombardment became a testing ground for both US and Israeli weapons which would have severe consequences on the residents of the Gaza Strip. Most of the weapons used on Gaza were in violation of the Geneva Convention. The onslaught started with Star Shells to illuminate the target areas followed rapidly by extensive use of White Phosphorous (WP), which in itself has terrible consequences for those trapped beneath its rain of terror. This was then followed by a vast array of weaponry that was delivered by air from aircraft, helicopter and drones.
The Apache helicopter fires a multitude of missiles and rounds from its Gatling Gun which uses Depleted Uranium (DU). The overhead jet fighters use an assembly of stand off weapons which contain DU and also what one could only refer to as "Dirty Bombs". On the marine side we also have an array of DU weaponry including missiles and the rapid fire Phalanx gun which are fitted to the Israeli Sa'ar Class Corvettes.
Despite the terrible loss of life that occurred in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead the trauma for its residents is not yet over. As a result in the use of Uranium based weapons the Israeli IDF has contaminated the Gaza Strip with terrible consequences. This evil act of slow genocide will continue to work its way through the population of Gaza, not only as a result of the immediate attack but also as a result of secondary contamination.
Israelis killing Israelis
What I find so ironic is that when such weapons were used in Lebanon (2006) by the IDF they were also contaminating their own forces and the entire Northern Israel region. Now that they have used these same weapons on Gaza they have again contaminated their own forces and added Central, Southern Israel, West Bank and other adjacent countries to their lethal list. This weaponry is indiscriminate and does not respect international borders.
Whilst on the subject of uranium contamination I would also like to point out that such contamination is generated during test firing and military exercises which again spreads its lethal dose on both those using the weapons and the adjacent populations locally and cross border.
It has also been a point of discussion that such weapons were also tested/used some time ago in other fields of engagement which when added to their on- going usage can result in total contamination of the entire region and beyond. If Israel (with US assistance) attacks Iranian Nuclear Facilities then we are looking at a huge secondary contamination of the entire Middle East with consequences beyond imagination.
I am totally convinced that in the event of such an attack, the US will have to assist Israel to carryout it out. The US would offer Spy Satellite Support, possible in-flight refueling and an assortment of weaponry which include both Depleted and Enriched Uranium. Weaponry required for such a long distance, complicated and extremely dangerous operation may include any combination of the following:
Missiles - Harpoon, Popeye, Cruise and AGM-130.
Bombs - GBU-28, GBU-31, BLU-109, BLU-122 and
Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP)
Add all this to Israeli's own secret arsenal of "Dirty Weapons" and we are looking at a potential catastrophic war with reprisal attacks being carried out against Israel.
The Iranian threat has been concocted by both the United States of America and Israel and flawed by tunnel vision. As usual we see imperialism at its "best" whereby one country wants to control both the natural resources of another and its decision making. We saw this same approach carried out against Pakistan, India, and North Korea. The feedback from world experts is that Iran is not a threat to the West.
This inter-connection of greed, power and human destruction described above, is a sure remedy for Armageddon. Israel, Gaza and Lebanon have become places where it is very dangerous for the ordinary person to live, as the ecosystems are all contaminated. An end must be brought to human greed and the genocidal weapons put at its service. Irreversible damage has already taken place, but we shall be able to contain some of it, if no further destruction occurs using such weapons. There must be a complete and absolute ban on all and any weapons made containing uranium.
Peter Eyre, Middle East Consultant