Israel Court Throws Out Objections, Lets Oil Drilling Start in Syria’s Golan

First Major Drilling in Golan in Decades to Begin in Weeks

The Israeli High Court has thrown out the last objections from environmental groups and approved Afek Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of politically well-connected Genie Israel, to begin exploratory drilling in the Golan Heights.

Genie Israel is run by retired Israeli General Effi Eitam, who famously declared Palestinians “creatures who came our of the depths of darkness,” and predicted Israel would eventually have to kill them all. The company also has a “strategic advisory board” that includes Rupert Murdoch and other well connected international individuals, and formerly also included Dick Cheney.

The move to drill in Golan faced its biggest obstacle within Israel from the environmentalist movement, but a much bigger problem is that the Golan Heights are considered, per UN Security Council Resolution 242, Israeli-occupied territory that actually belongs to Syria.

Afek got around environmental complaints by arguing that they’re only drilling for exploration, not production, but is expected to move toward commercial production in a few years.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.