The Washington Institute for Near East Policy said Israeli development
of its new gas reserves could spark tension throughout the eastern
The report asserted that the gas discoveries, estimated at 16 trillion
cubic feet, could make Israel into an energy exporter, Middle East Newsline reported. But researcher Simon Henderson warned
in the report that all of Israel's neighbors, including Egypt, might challenge Israel
for control of the reserves.
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Henderson also warned of
a confrontation between Israel and Lebanon as well as Turkey and the
Republic of Cyprus over the natural gas reserves.
"Washington needs to pay careful attention, since these developments
offer opportunities for U.S. companies as well as the potential for friction
between U.S. allies," the report, titled "Seismic Shift: Israel's Natural
Gas Discoveries, said. "And although the amounts of gas discovered so far
seem unlikely to change the world, they could certainly change the eastern