A War over Energy in Gaza?
Furthermore, while gas supply from Tamar has not been disrupted, negative headlines send signals to potential investors that the risks to operating in Israel are concrete. A private power station in Ashkelon, for example, is preparing to switch to producing energy from diesel instead of natural gas should a supply problem arise as a result of the current situation. Executives from Noble Energy, a Houston-based company that holds drilling rights for both Tamar and Leviathan, had arrived in Israel for meetings about Leviathan, but canceled and flew back to the United States when Operation Protective Edge began. These developments barely register from a nuanced perspective, but they still send the message that Israel is a risky investment climate.
Israel is not using Operation Protective Edge to steal the Gaza Marine gas field from the Palestinians, and it is irresponsible to claim otherwise. Still, there are indications that the assault on Gaza is negatively affecting Israel’s energy sector by highlighting the risks of investing in the industry and causing more geopolitical problems with Turkey.
Allison Good is a M.A. candidate at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. Her recent work has appeared in Defense One, Foreign Policy, The National (UAE), and The Daily Beast. Follow her on Twitter: @Allison_Good1.
Image: Flickr/Israeli Defense Forces/CC by-nc 2.0