WASHINGTON — Energy consumption in the Mediterranean is estimated to increase by up to 50 percent over the next 25 years. The heightened demand comes at a time when gas in the Levant Basin, estimated to contain 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and an average of 122 trillion cubic feet of gas, is being divvied up among nations with territorial claims to the waters, including Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, and Turkey.
With these claims, of course, comes potential for conflict.
Michael Schwartz, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Sociology at Stony Brook University in New York and author of “War Without End: The Iraq War in Context,” told MintPress News that conflict for these resources has already begun.
In fact, he explained, energy resources are the root cause of every conflict the Israelis have had with the Palestinians for at least the last 15 years.
Schwartz argues that natural gas located off the coast of the Gaza Strip in Palestinian waters is at the heart of the last five major Israeli military actions against Palestine: Former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s orders for the Israeli navy to control Gaza’s coastal waters in the early 2000s; Then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s blockade of the Gaza Strip on June 15, 2007; Operation Cast Lead in 2008; Operation Returning Echo in 2012; and Operation Protective Edge, which took place last summer.
Schwartz says an impending gas deal with Russia’s Gazprom, the world’s largest extractor of natural gas, was the precipitating factor behind Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip last summer, which led to the deaths of over 2,300 people and the displacement of another 500,000.
Full Story @ [MintPress News]