Israel-Egypt-EU gas deal is another green light to occupation and rights abuses
The European Union has just signed a tripartite gas deal with Egypt and Israel that will increase the EU’s dependency on Israeli gas. Described by the EU Commission chief as a “historic agreement”, the deal proves that when it comes to respect for human rights and international law, the EU and its member states have no credibility.
The agreement comes as the EU is seeking alternatives to Russian oil amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. Charles Michel, president of the European Council, says the embargo on Russian oil imports cuts “a huge source of financing for its war machine”.
Instead, the EU is embracing a path that will make it more dependent on Israeli gas, despite Israel’s more than half-century military occupation and 74 years of settler-colonial dispossession of Palestinians, which has included ongoing and blatant violations of international law amounting to the crime of apartheid.
The gas deal follows the implementation of the Abraham Accords, a US-brokered push to normalise relations between Israel and Arab states. The deal will also make the EU more dependent on Egypt, a dictatorial regime with approximately 60,000 political prisoners and widespread human rights abuses that the EU has also normalised.
Earlier this year, the EU committed 657 million euros ($688m) towards the EuroAsia Interconnector, an undersea line linking the power grids of Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Europe.
For decades, Israel has been building its state and fuelling its settler-colonial project through land expropriation and the pillaging of Palestinian natural resources, including water, oil and gas, stone and dead sea minerals in the occupied territories. The gas set to be exported to Europe is exploited off the coast of Gaza, where for 15 years Israel has maintained a brutal blockade on two million Palestinians and regularly bombs them.
Israel has also prevented Palestinians from exploiting natural gas reserves in the Gaza Marine field, ensuring that the Palestinian population remains subservient to Israel’s will.