Former US Vice President Dick Cheney (above) and media mogul Rupert Murdoch are in the Strategic Advisory Board of Genie Energy which will drill for oil in the Occupied Golan Heights
Elham Asaad Buaras
Israel has given permission for an American company to drill for oil in the Occupied Golan Heights.
Israel decided last year to allow oil and gas exploration in the Occupied Golan Heights in Syria, and on February 22, Israel’s Energy and Water Resources Ministry issued New Jersey-based Genie Energy an exclusive permit on to drill for oil.
The permit will allow for oil exploration in a 153 square mile in the south of Golan Heights.
Genie Energy will require further work permits for drilling to commence, a process that could take years.
The Company’s Strategic Advisory Board includes a number of high-profile pro-Israel political and business leaders: former US Vice President Dick Cheney, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and British banking tycoon Lord Jacob Rothschild.
Genie Energy is headed by Effi Eitam, 60, a former right wing Israeli Cabinet Minister who earned Israel’s Medal of Distinguished Service in the 1973 Arab–Israeli War. He currently resides in Golan Heights.
The strategic advisory board “advises management on strategic, financial, operational and public policy matters.”
“Based on its preliminary analysis and interpretation of existing geological data, that the newly issued license area may contain significant quantities of conventional oil and gas in relatively tight formations, the development of which would entail significantly different technical approaches and project timelines than the other projects,” Genie Energy said in a statement.
Israel annexed Golan from Syria in June 1967 after a six-day war. There are estimated to be around 30 Israeli illegal settlements and 20,000 illegal settlers in the Golan Heights area.
Israel-Syria peace talks halted oil permits for the area 20 years ago, with the relinquishment of Golan being one of the key facets. The talks however were never resolved.
The British Foreign Office voiced its concerns by reports but failed to condemn the latest violation of international law by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Government.
“The British Government regards the Golan Heights – along with East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza – as Occupied Territory. We continue to call on Israel, as the Occupying Power, to uphold its obligations under international law, including abiding by UNSCR 497 (1981),” a spokesman for the Foreign Office told The Muslim News.