This online session addresses Israel’s theft and exploitation of Palestinian fossil fuel resources and the gravity of violations according to international human rights and humanitarian law. It focuses on the joint energy projects between Israel and Europe, how they will deepen the EU’s complicity with Israel’s violations of international law and how they will deepen the EU’s dependence on fossil fuels – putting into question the EU’s ability to meet its climate targets. Since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, the Palestinian people have been systematically deprived of accessing and using their land and natural resources, which extends to fossil fuel resources. Meanwhile, the occupation has extensively and illegally exploited these resources. Mr. Michael Link, the former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, put it plainly when he said that the natural resources “are largely controlled by Israel and primarily exploited for its benefit.” Since the blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2007, the Israeli government has established de facto control over Gaza’s offshore natural gas reserves, effectively bypassing the Palestinian government regarding exploration and development rights. It has also taken control over the Meged oil and natural gas field, located inside the occupied West Bank. Israel claims that the field lies west of the green line (1949 Armistice border), yet most of the reservoir is situated beneath the occupied West Bank. More recently, Israel has begun to develop new oil and gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean, solely for its own benefit. The EastMed Pipeline is a leading EU “Project of Common Interest” (No. 7.3.1.), which is a 2,000 kilometres pipeline supplying Europe with natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean at a cost of over US$6 billion by 2025. EuroAsia Interconnector is another “EU Project of Common Interest” (No. 3.10), connecting the national grids of Israel and the EU via Cyprus and Greece and allowing bi-directional transmission of electricity.
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