Plans being discussed to extend existing pipelines so that oil exports from Saudi and Gulf states can reach Europe and America via Ashkelon. safe from Iranian interference, may pit Hamas against Iran.
Under the plan, the network of pipelines which already reaches the Saudi Yanbu oil refineries on the Red Sea would be extended some 700 kilometers to link into the Ashkelon-Eilat pipeline.
Last Friday in Makor Rishon Pazit Ravina cited a 14 September FARS News Agency article in which the Iranians threatened that Hamas would attack such a pipeline.
But would that serve Hamas’ interests?
Hamas might try to gain various benefits in return for not interfering with the pipeline’s operation, but the costs it would face actually attacking such an international system are far greater than any benefits it could accrue for acting on Iran’s behalf.
Even without the possibility of this pipeline, it could serve Israel’s interests for Gazans to benefit from Israeli – Gulf relations.
Today Israel’s security system clears Gazans to work inside Israel. Is it so far fetched that a similar arrangement might be implemented so that Gazans can fly from Ben Gurion Airport to work in the Gulf?