On June 30th 2009, Israeli Naval gunships surrounded the Spirit of Humanity, a boat used by the Free Gaza Movement, in international waters 60 miles off the coast of Israel, and arrested twenty-one activists, from 11 countries, including former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
, who had boarded the Spirit of Humanity in Lamaco, Cyprus, with medical aid, toys, and building supplies, hoping to carry them to Gaza's besieged Palestinian population.
They had hoped not only to deliver aid, but also to challenge the illegal blockade imposed by the Israeli government on Gaza.
Upon her release and return, Cynthia McKinney spoke to WBAIX-New York, from New York's JFK Airport, where she reported that the Israeli Navy had towed the "Spirit of Humanity," not directly to Port Ashdod, but, on a circuitous route, bypassing the Gaza Coast. This, she said, suggested that the Israeli Navy is engaged in activity that they do not want observed in the off the Gaza Strip, known to be the site of billions of dollars worth of natural gas reserves.
Barack Obama, in his speech proposing U.S. reconciliation with the Moslem world, in Cairo, Egypt, on 06.03.2009, said nothing of the estimated $4 billion worth of natural gas off the Coast of Gaza, nor of the oil and natural gas in Iraq, Iran, or Sudan, or, the pipeline projects to move Central Asian oil and natural gas through through Afghanistan, and other parts of Central Asia.
Israel has two oil and natural gas drilling platforms north of Gaza, which some believe they are using to slant drill into Gaza's natural gas reserves.
Here's former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney on the Israeli Navy's circuitous route to shore, with the Spirit of Humanity in tow:
Here are links to more reporting and analysis:
Geopolitical Time Line: War, Natural Gas and Gaza's Marine Zone; article by David K. Schermerhorn in Global Research
Stealing Gaza's Gas, Amnesty International, Free Gaza Team
War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza's Offshore Gas Fields
by Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research
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Gaza siege and natural gas: Gaza siege intensified after collapse of natural gas deal, Mark Turner, The Electronic Intifada
Energy Security Challenges for Israel Following the Gaza War: by Gal Luft, Executive Director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, Journal of Energy Security
War and Gaza's natural gas: A Ramattan TV interview with Alfred Lambremont Webre, international lawyer in Vancouver.
This report first appeared on Examiner.com, http://tinyurl.com/mxn8xs.
Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes region. She can be reached at (more...)