An Israeli oil well has been reported to contain a much larger reserve than originally estimated. The oil exploration company, Givat Olam, has now increased its estimate to 3.53 billion barrels of oil and has already sold $40 million worth of oil from the site.
While Israel is now facing a bright future as an oil producer, there is one problem: Meged 5 is located on the Green Line, the official border between Israel and Palestine. Lying a few dozen meters inside Palestinian territory, according to international law and the Oslo Accords, the well should belong to Palestine.
In answer to this problem, Israel has adjusted the path of its separation barrier, bringing Meged 5 onto its side of the wall. While the well is now under de facto Israeli control, most of the reserves lie under Palestinian territory.
Israel has been consistent in keeping the Palestinian economy in a stranglehold, according to a recent report by The World Bank, and has prevented the Palestinians from gaining full access to key natural resources.
According to the report, if control of Area C were returned to Palestine, the Palestinian Authority could generate an additional $3.4 billion in revenue, increasing its GDP by a full third and freeing it from aid dependence. It is important to note that this estimate does not take into account any possible revenue from a successful oil well, which could very well make Palestine financially independent.