Israel Gives Drilling License in Golan Heights

YERUSHALAYIM -

A gas exploration project in the Golan Heights authorized by Israel on Thursday could herald another energy windfall, and another round of international condemnations.

“Awarding a drilling license in the Golan could cause an international fracas, given the Golan’s status as occupied Syrian territory under international law,” Globes commented.

The move raises concerns ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel, AFP said.

After repeated attempts to secure a peace agreement with Syria, in 1981 Israel annexed the region, though it was never recognized by the international community.

The license to drill in the Golan was authorized by the Energy and Water Resources Ministry for the U.S.-Israeli energy company Genie, headed by former Cabinet minister Effie Eitam.