Mohammad Fadhel - Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched his aggression on Gaza using a cover story that lacks evidence and was managed through the media only. Israel didn’t reveal a single evidence in the story of ‘kidnapping’ three colonists in an area fully controlled by the Israeli army in the West Bank, except for few seconds of an audio recording that Israel claims an SOS phone call made by one of the kidnapped colonists a few moments after the ‘kidnaping’. In those seconds, we hear a whispering distress and a voice of someone shouting in Hebrew and telling someone to put their heads down. After a horrifying and repressive campaign in the West Bank, Israel announced that it had found the bodies of the three colonists, but did not conduct any autopsy and announce its results to identify the real reasons of their deaths.
No evidence more than a possible manipulated few seconds of an audio recording. Instead, Israel rushed to accuse Hamas of the ‘kidnapping’ and US rushed - as usual - to provide the cover and green light for the aggression when Secretary of State John Kerry stated that ‘there are indications of Hamas involvement in the kidnapping’.
But does the revenge for the three Israelis requires mobilising the elite brigades in the Israeli army and more than 60,000 soldiers? The goals appears to be greater than revenge, and the failure of the Israeli army in its disgraceful aggression on the 365 square kilometres overpopulated and besieged Gaza Strip, is not an indication of a heroic steadfastness of Gaza’s people only, but rather an evidence of an abnormal eagerness to achieve objectives beyond retaliation.
This aggression is the fourth of its kind waged by Israel against the Palestinians since the establishment of Palestinian Authority in 1994. The invasion of the West Bank in 2002, followed by the aggression on Gaza in 2008 and again in 2012 down to the current aggression. When Hamas and Palestinians declare unanimously that one main goal of the current aggression is subverting the reconciliation and solidification of schism among Palestinians, this is the accurate personification of the Israeli strategic goal in preventing any path for the growth of a Palestinian state. The ideal means to achieve this is sustaining of the Palestinian schism and prevent the formation of a unified West Bank and Gaza Strip government. The exaggeration in targeting civilians and committing massacres is quite intentional in order to enhance the feelings of discontent among the population of Gaza and deepening resentment towards their fellow citizens and the Palestinian government in the West Bank over its inability to help them due to an objective compelling reasons.
Why such a goal is an extremely important for Israel to this extent? It’s resources. Water and potential resources in the land and the sea. The importance of this goal can’t be underestimated, and more than sufficient to justify a central goal for the Israelis to prevent the emergence of any unified Palestinian government because this government is the legitimate exclusive owner of these resources in the Palestinian territories according to international law. Let us not forget that Israel captured by de facto all water resources in West Bank during its long occupation. This time, the precious target is not water but gas.
The story of Palestinian gas resources started in 1999 when British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC), were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25-year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian National Authority.
Michel Chossudovsky, professor (emeritus) of economics at the University of Ottawa, and other writers explain Israeli efforts to control these gas fields and prevent Palestinian government and Hamas from gaining any income from the fields by all means. (Global Research Centre for Research on Globalisation website,8 January 2009).
Chossudovsky stated that ‘from a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine’ adding that ‘the death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian [National Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza’s offshore gas reserves’.
The importance of these fields lies in the huge reserves which were estimated by BG up to 1.4 trillion cubic feet, worth up to an estimated $4 billion, while Chossudovsky says that the size of Palestine’s gas reserves could be much larger.
The ideal means for Israelis to capture these resources is to push the Palestinians always into the swamp of division and civil war to prevent the formation of a unified Palestinian government by all possible means, on top of that by waging war against them. The importance of such Palestinian government is not political or sentimental but an indispensable necessity because it’s the legitimate and exclusive owner of all natural resources in the Palestinian territorial soil and waters by virtue of international laws. Remembering that the story of the three colonists started in less than two weeks following the reconciliation and the formation of the Palestinian transitional government last June, explains the rush by Israel to wage this aggression
It’s an existential struggle, and the seizure of resources, is the central objective which sums the history of Israel itself and the most obvious explanation for the ongoing wars against Palestinians since 1994 to prevent any path for the growth of an independent unified Palestinian state.
But the issue of natural resources, show clearly how the calls for a solution of the Palestinian National Authority that emerges from time to time by critics and disaffected towards Palestinians government are just nihilistic calls and a providence gift to Israel. Such a solution would only leads Palestinians to the loss of all their natural resources after losing their territories because Israel will capture those resources by de facto as long as the legitimate owner of these resources recognised by the world, concede his rights voluntarily.
Mohammad Fadhel is a Bahraini media consultant in Dubai.–Gulf news