Natural Gas, Palestinian Elections, and Israel's Subversion of the 'Peace Process'
Israel claims it is fighting in Gaza to stop Hamas rocket-fire against Israel, the continuation of which constituted a flagrant breach of the six-months ceasefire. Hence, the objective of the military operation is limited by the aim of putting an end to the rocket-fire.
In fact, the current outbreak of violence cannot be understood without analysing the asymmetries in military violence between the two parties; the structural dynamic of the conflict in the context of the character of the Israeli occupation; the central role of recent discoveries of substantial natural gas reserves in Gaza; and joint Anglo-American and Israeli attempts to monopolise the lucrative (and strategic) energy resources through a political process tied to a corrupt Palestinian Authority run by Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party.
Hamas’ unprecedented victory in democratic elections in 2006 fundamentally threatened these plans. Operation Cast Lead, the concurrent Israeli military venture, was operationalised as a war plan in early 2008, and already finalised in detail as far back as 2001 by Israeli military intelligence. Its execution in late December 2008 into January 2009 is designed to head-off not only domestic Israeli elections, but more significantly, the outcome of further incoming Palestinian democratic elections likely to consolidate Hamas’ power, to permanently shift the balance of geopolitical and economic power in its favour.
The long-term goal is the “cantonization” of the Occupied Territories making way for increased Israeli encroachment, and ultimately the escalation of Palestinian emigration.
See Media Monitors Network for easy to read version; slightly updated version but with less brilliant formatting is on OpEdNews.
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