Calling the gas under the Mediterranean Sea “a gift from God,” Netanyahu vowed his decision would lead Israel to energy independence.
Fifteen years ago, the late Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat made a similar declaration as he stood aboard a fishing vessel in the Mediterranean, while British Gas confirmed the presence of natural gas less than 20 nautical miles off the coast of the Gaza Strip, within the occupied territory’s maritime zone.
“It’s a gift from God to us, to our people, to our children,” Arafat said. “This will provide a solid foundation for our economy, for establishing an independent state with holy Jerusalem as its capital.”
But fifteen years later the discovery of many rich gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean has reaped no benefits for Palestinians – and is likely the motive for Israel’s devastating maritime blockade on Gaza.
“Israel has closed off access to Palestine’s territorial