In the last few weeks Lebanon has been negotiating deals to exploit newly discovered gas fields offshore while the Israeli government has been responding with threats so violently extreme the world should take note.
“Lebanon's President Michel Aoun warned Monday that Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's remarks on an offshore gas block dubbed Block 9 "reflect the true Israeli intentions."
Aoun voiced his warning during a meeting with visiting Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, a statement by the presidential media office said.
Thanking Greece for its "participation in the maritime force of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)," the president noted that "the role of UNIFIL's maritime component has become more important in terms of protecting Lebanese territorial waters, especially the Exclusive Economic Zone," the statement added.
"Israel has ambitions to control parts of it before Lebanon launches oil and gas exploration in it," Aoun stressed.
Lieberman had on Wednesday described as "very provocative" Lebanon's tender on exploring gas in Block 9. This gas field "is by all accounts ours," the Israeli minister claimed.
Lebanon in December approved a bid for offshore oil and gas exploration off its Mediterranean coast -- a vision for years hampered by political instability and domestic wrangling.
A major finding in Lebanon's southernmost waters could raise the possibility of a dispute with Israel, which is developing a number of offshore gas deposits, with one large field, Tamar, already producing gas, and the larger Leviathan field set to go online next year.
There are over 800 square km of waters claimed by Lebanon and Israel, which are technically in a state of conflict. Israel and Hezbollah fought a fierce, month-long war in 2006.”
Lebanon warns against Israeli intentions over gas exploring
These are the exact comments the Israeli defence minister said.
“When they issue a tender on a gas field, including Block 9,
which by any standard is ours... this is very, very challenging
and provocative conduct here,” Liberman said.
“Respectable firms” bidding on the tender “are, to my mind, making a grave error – because this is contrary to all of the rules and all protocol in cases like this,” he told an international security conference hosted by the INSS think tank in Tel Aviv.
The defense minister said the Lebanese Army was indistinguishable from Hezbollah, and both were fair game in any war.”
LIBERMAN: ‘PEOPLE IN BEIRUT WILL BE IN BOMB SHELTERS' IF WAR BREAKS OUT
BY TOVAH LAZAROFF, FEBRUARY 1, 2018 Jerusalem Post
This is also the main reason why Trump has sent US troops to Israel.
The narrative from this Israeli piece is for a Zionist audience, they use the ‘Iran bogeyman’ label and there is not a single mention of getting ready to invade Lebanon for gas and oil.
This will be prattled off again and again by Western media to prime a gullible public into looking the other way if Lebanese citizens have bombs dropping on them, some honesty is needed.
For any Jewish people who read this they should be concerned, these Israeli government attacks feed into the propaganda of right-wing groups worldwide and lead to attacks on synagogues and Jews in the rest of the world.
Jews in effect pay in blood when Netanyahu fills his pockets.
“The biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise, which is being held for the ninth time, will take place amid an escalation of rhetoric between Israel and the Hezbollah terrorist group in southern Lebanon, which is believed to have an arsenal of between 100,000 and 150,000 short-, medium- and long-range missiles and a fighting force of some 50,000 soldiers, including reservists.
The Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which seeks Israel’s destruction, has reportedly been threatening to open fire at IDF soldiers if Israel does not halt the construction of a barrier it is building along the Israel-Lebanon border.”….
“Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Wednesday that should war erupt again with Lebanon, Beirut would “pay the full price” for Iran’s entrenchment in the country, and that if the citizens of Tel Aviv are forced into bomb shelters “all of Beirut will be in bomb shelters.”….
“In a rare Arabic op-ed published Sunday in Lebanese news outlets, the IDF spokesman accused Iran of turning Lebanon into “one big missile factory.” In the piece, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Iran’s extensive support for Hezbollah had turned the country into a “branch” of the Islamic Republic.
“It is no longer just the transfer of weapons, money and advice. Iran has de facto opened a new branch — ‘the Lebanon Branch.’ Iran is here,” Manelis wrote.”
In his Wednesday speech, the defense minister said that this time, as opposed to 2006, a war with Lebanon would also likely involve Syria.
“Israel’s northern front extends to Syria; it is not just Lebanon. I am not sure that the Syrian government can resist Hezbollah’s attempts to drag them into a war with Israel,” he said.”
US troops arrive for drill simulating massive missile attack on Israel
This quote is outrageous “Israel’s northern front extends to Syria; it is not just Lebanon” because two of the of the main reasons for the Syrian war were the planned Qatar gas pipeline through Syria and Israel’s discovery of oil in the Golan Heights.
In 2017 Qatar signed a deal with France’s Total oil company and Iran to exploit their shared gas fields in the Red Sea.
This led to the immediate boycott of Qatar for daring to even talk to the Iranians, but the second effect was the main reason for the Syrian war ended and the West walked away from the mercenary groups like Al Nusra that they were backing.
The Golan Heights though is full steam ahead with Israeli oil drilling going on, this educational piece from the Asia Times gives all the details that Western media never reports with all the details including amounts of oil and gas.
“A burgeoning oil bonanza in the Golan Heights could be paving the way for China to strengthen its role as a peacekeeper in the troubled region, while at the same time smoothing the way for its Belt and Road Initiative.
Since regional stability is key to China’s continued access to Mideast energy sources and to push forward the BRI, Beijing is stepping up efforts to help resolve the Syrian crisis and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. It is becoming more proactive in supporting a negotiated political settlement in Syria, proposing a trilateral dialogue among China, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and moving ahead with regional infrastructure projects in Syria, Jordan and Israel – where it will be importing 20,000 infrastructure workers.
China is thus becoming a de facto regional stakeholder in the Middle East, as it is increasing resources to protect its growing portfolio of assets and citizens there. In July it deployed its first batch of troops to the new naval base in Djibouti to augment its ongoing United Nations peacekeeping presence in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Lebanon (UNIFIL), has offered 8,000 peacekeeping troops on permanent standby to conflict zones, and may join the Golan’s UNDOF in the future
‘Billions of barrels’
In November 2015, Afek Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of the US company Genie Energy, discovered an oil bonanza in the Golan Heights “with the potential of billions of barrels”. In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 News, Afek chief geologist Yuval Batov said the layer was 350 meters thick, which is 10 times as large as the average oil find worldwide.
Genie Energy managed to obtain exploratory licenses despite opposition from environmental and local groups. These groups were concerned that drilling could pollute the largely unspoiled Golan countryside and the Sea of Galilee below, the source of most of Israel’s drinking water.
Indeed, there is still an ongoing debate over which is more important to Israel, access to water or energy independence, as spelled out in a recent analysis at the Begin-Sadat Center. Moreover, the quality, quantity and cost-effectiveness of extraction are still unknown, while other legal and planning battles await.
However, the biggest problems revolve around the issue of sovereignty.
Israel annexed much of the Golan in 1981, but the heights are still regarded internationally as illegally occupied Syrian territory. In the past, Israel’s leaders have offered to pull back from the Golan, which was captured in 1967, in return for a comprehensive peace treaty with the Syrian government. However, any such deal has been ruled out since Syria began disintegrating in 2011, and now there are efforts to demand recognition of Israeli control of the 1,200 square kilometers it occupies on the Golan.
Israel’s defense of the Golan intensified in June when it was caught in the crossfire between the Syrian Army and armed opposition forces in that country. After a mortar shell landed in the Golan, the Israeli Air Force attacked Syrian Army positions in the village of Samadanieh al Sharqiyah in Quneitra province. Israel also supports a rebel group called Knights of the Golan as a buffer force to keep the Syrian Army and Iran-backed Hezbollah at bay, adding to the complex and delicate environment in which Genie Energy needs to navigate on the Golan.
Nonetheless, there is another potential oil bounty that is within Israel’s territory and has escaped much media attention – Zion Oil & Gas’s exploration of the Megiddo-Jezreel Valley.
Since 2005 Texas-based Zion Oil has been drilling near Haifa for potential 484 million barrels of oil, which geologists confirmed in 2004 to contain Triassic oil and gas fields.
Now, Zion Oil holds the Megiddo-Jezreel Petroleum Exploration License that comprises approximately 40,000 hectares, and is drilling about 42 kilometers south of the recent Genie oil discovery.
On November 6, 2015, Zion Oil announced the public release of a resource assessment report, with estimated prospective recoverable oil volumes ranging from 20.7 million to 234.6 million barrels. If a discovery is made, the “best estimate” for recoverable hydrocarbons is at 69.7 million barrels.
Add to this the offshore natural-gas fields of Leviathan and Tamar in the Levantine basin, and the newly discovered oil and gas bounty could enable Israel to become an important energy exporter not just in the region, but also to Asian markets such as China and India.
Interestingly for regional actors such as Syria and Israel, Chinese UN peacekeeping troops may be more acceptable in the Golan, given that in 2006 Beijing sent 1,000 troops to Lebanon at the request of the Israelis. This is because Israel did not want Arab troops on its border, and preferred Asian troops from China, India, South Korea and the Philippines, as they were deemed to be more impartial in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Chinese reinforcements in UNDOF (the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) may thus also serve as a confidence-building and effective buffer force between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights, given China’s good relations with both sides, and perhaps provide a testing ground for constructive US-China relations in the Mideast, with eventual joint benefits of the new oil bonanza.”
Oil bonanza in Golan may help grease wheels for BRI
CHRISTINA LIN AUGUST 9, 2017 Asia Times
For Australians it is worth noting that Rupert Murdoch who owns the media here also has shares in the gas company Genie that is drilling in the Golan Heights.
Murdoch’s press in Australia continually writes anti-Muslim articles that encourage right-wing Australian groups but in secret he must know that Israel pays Islamist militants to attack the Syrian border from the Golan Heights thus preventing Syria from being able to respond to drilling of their land.
People should be reminded that Israel ethnically cleansed 120,000 Syrians from the Golan Heights in the 1967 war, they immediately bulldozed all of their villages, it was done within a week, all planned beforehand.
“Genie Oil and Gas has some high profile investors and advisors: Media baron Rupert Murdoch, former US Vice President Dick Cheney, American hedge
Murdoch stated in 2013 that “Israel is the greatest ally of democracy in a region beset with turmoil and radicalism.” This was an audacious statement given his investment in a company breaking the basic tenets of international law.
The chairman of Genie Israel, Effie Eitam, who lives in the Golan Heights settlement of Nov, is a former military commander and member of the National Religious Party. He once referred to Palestinian citizens of Israel as a “ticking bomb” causing a “cancer” in Israel. He also told The New Yorker in 2004, that Palestinians were “creatures who came out of the depths of darkness” adding that “we will have to kill them all” before backpeddling slightly: “I know it’s not very diplomatic. I don’t mean all the Palestinians, but the ones with evil in their heads.”
Israel exploits Syrian chaos to plan looting of Golan oil
Paul Fallon 21 July 2015 Electronic Intifada
The story about Israel paying Islamic militants to attack Syria is here.
“The Israeli authorities have provided significant amounts of cash, food, fuel and medical supplies to Sunni rebels fighting against Bashar al-Assad’s government, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing "half a dozen rebels and three people familiar with Israel's thinking."…..
“The supposed support for Sunni rebels is thought to have begun as early as 2013 under former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, with the goal of creating a ‘buffer zone’ free of radical militants such as Isis and Iranian-allied forces along Israel’s border.
A special Israeli army unit was created to oversee the costly aid operation, the WSJ reported, which gives Fursan al-Joulan - Knights of the Golan - an estimated $5,000 (£3,900) a month. The group of around 400 fighters receives no direct support from Western rebel backers, and is not affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, the official rebel umbrella organisation.
Israel may be funding up to four other rebel groups which have Western backing. The groups use the cash to pay fighters and buy ammunition.“
Israel ‘giving secret aid to Syrian rebels’, report says
Bethan McKernan Monday 19 June 2017
Let people know and pass this on.