العنوان هنا
Situation Assessment 23 November, 2011

Israel’s natural gas discoveries: Strategic value and regional repercussions

Keyword

Saleh al-Naami

Al-Naami is a Palestinian refugee currently – and temporarily – residing in the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central West Bank. He holds a Master’s degree in policy studies specializing in Israeli Studies from Jerusalem University and is currently working on his doctoral thesis. At the moment he is a lecturer in the Economics and Political Science Department at the Islamic University in Gaza. He is also a researcher and journalist specializing in Israeli affairs and its various junctions. He is also an affiliated researcher with the al-Jazeera Research Center in Doha the al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center in Dubai the Center for Middle Eastern Studies in Amman and the Researchers’ Center in Beirut. Al-Naami is the author of The Army and the Press in Israel published by Dar ash-Shuruq in Cairo in 2005 and Israel: Between Militarism Religion and Corruption published by Dar al-Kitab al-Jamii al-Ain UAE. He has also published several studies in publications including “Wajhat Nadhar” (Cairo) “al-Bayan” (Riyadh) “Dirasat Sharq Awsatiyya” (Amman) “Dirasat Falastiniyya” (Ramallah). He also works as a correspondent for the Cairo-based English-language publication al-Ahram Weekly. Since 1999 he has also been the Palestinian territories correspondent for the London-based pan-Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat. He has published hundreds of articles on Israel and its relations with the Arab Palestinian and international contexts. He has also translated the work of Israeli writers from Hebrew into Arabic. He has also appeared in documentary films on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Israeli leaders have recently expressed feelings of great relief following the announcement of the discovery of large deposits of natural gas off the coast of Israel, to the extent that some officials predicted Israel may soon become an exporter of natural gas. On the other hand, it is evident that this announcement carries with it immense repercussions for the Lebanon/Israel conflict, following Lebanon's affirmation that some of these newly discovered gasfields fall inside Lebanese national waters. I will try to address two main questions. First, what is the economic and strategic value of these new gas discoveries for Israel? And second, what is the fate of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict in light of these discoveries?

To read the full text, click on the image below.