On Monday 20 November, activists from Fossil Free London blocked the doors to the headquarters of BP, the British multinational oil and gas company, to stand in solidarity with Palestine and Gaza.
BP: ‘stop fuelling genocide’
Approximately 70 activists blocked both entrances to BP’s office near Piccadilly Circus, shouting “shame on you” as staff arrived to work. Further activists held Palestinian flags and signs reading “stop fuelling genocide” and chanted “profits from oil but none from aid, Gazan genocide is British made”:
Amidst Israel’s ongoing bombing of Gaza, Israel granted twelve gas exploration licences off the coast of Gaza to six companies, including BP, at the end of October.
BP not only received this licence but is also set to acquire 50% of the Israeli Delek Group-owned NewMed, who have also been granted a licence. NewMed owns 45% of Leviathan, the largest gas field in the Mediterranean, situated off the coast of Israel.
There is a direct link between the gas extraction and the brutal occupation. Israeli Energy Minister’s head of upstream regulation and trade, Sagi Ganot, stated:
We say that whenever a new offshore installation is approved in Israel the commander of the Israeli navi throws a party because that means he gets a couple of new warships to play with.
Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip denies the besieged population access to natural resources within its waters, in violation of international law.
The climate crisis and Israel’s occupation are linked
For example, production at Israel’s Tamar gas field resumed on 13 of November after being halted on 7 of October. Tamar is the second largest oil field in Israel/occupied Palestine. The Tamar site sits about 12 miles off the coast of Northern Gaza, where Israel has created a fuel shortage that has made aid work virtually impossible, worsened the humanitarian crisis, and led directly to the deaths of patients and infants on incubators.
The protest is part of a series of actions by Fossil Free London that seek to highlight the link between the climate crisis, fossil fuel companies, and the occupation of Palestine:
Two weeks ago, the grassroots group protested Ithaca Energy, owned by Israeli petroleum conglomerate Delek Group, which is part of a UN blacklist of companies complicit in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Gaza: fossil fuel companies profiting from death
Joanna Warrington from Fossil Free London said:
As Israel continues its genocide on the people of Gaza, all the bosses of BP see is a business opportunity. The people of Gaza are starving, are being bombed, and are deprived of fuel, but fossil fuel companies are swarming like vultures to try and poach Palestine’s natural resources, making billions in profits in the process. It’s a new take on the old adage, ‘when there’s blood on the streets, pump gas!’
All the time fossil fuel companies continue to profit from human suffering, we will be here to hold them to account. The climate movement stands in solidarity with Palestinians, and against this opportunistic profiteering.
Featured image and additional images via Fossil Free London
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