María Suárez Toro,
In Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, there seems to be another “Pentagon Papers” like that of Daniel Elsberg (RIP, 2023), during the Vietnam War 50 years ago.
The Israeli construction company, Y.D. Ashush received this year a piece of the pie of the $35 million military contract from the Pentagon to build a settlement in Palestinian territory, say two investigative journalists from the digital magazine, INTERCEPT.
Bryan Ashush JV, Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been awarded $35,889,240 firm-fixed-price contract, for the construction of a life support area… Work will be performed in Israel, with an estimated completion date of August 30, 2026. The fiscal year 2023 military construction allocation, obligated Army funds in the amount at the time of the award. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, European District (W912GB-23-0005) is the contracting activity.
A military base (Site 512) 20 km away. of Gaza on Mt. Har Qeren in the Negev desert, is already secretly in existence and although until now it has been the base of a radar that monitors air missile attacks, signs of the juicy new contract seem to expand its mission. The Ashush company website describes its work as including “controlled explosions” alongside the construction that will be done. With the contract signed just two months before the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel in occupied territory, the settlement in Leshem has been built since 2010 as a satellite of another settlement, Alei Zahav, since 1982. Those settlements in occupied territory are illegal under the Geneva Convention. “The land on which the settlement sits was seized by the Israeli government, taken from two Palestinian communities… In the 1980s Israel declared it state land…” Dror Etkes, founder of Kerem, told INTERCEPT Navot, an Israeli organization that monitors Israeli territorial policy in the West Bank.
The location also appears conveniently close to the line drawn for the possibilities of the artificial Ben Gurion Canal that has been on the verge of beginning construction by Israel and the United States. A novel technique of using explosive material instead of excavations.
As an unaccounted for backdrop to this war, there may be that mega project in Israel. It is about the creation of an artificial canal with the name, “Ben Gurion Canal”, which will compete with my Suez Canal. It would cross the desert of Israel to connect my Mediterranean with my waters of the Gulf of Aqaba in Israel. Given the geography of the desert and the need to avoid making canals in sandy terrain, Israel would have to divert a large final part before falling into the Mediterranean Sea. But if it passed through northern Gaza, the passage would be direct and therefore much cheaper to build and maintain.
This artificial channel comes from an idea of the United States since 1963 but until now it has been secret information, declassified in 1993. This canal diminishes the importance of the Suez Canal, filling the military needs of the USA, in case they had to support Israel against the Arab countries and to do so they would also have to control Gaza.
Dr. Sami al-Aryan, a Palestinian political analyst in the United States, has said that “The Ben Gurion route, by reducing transit through Africa by three weeks, is set to redefine the dynamics of global trade. But beyond the trade, its location will increase regional tensions, sowing the ‘seeds’ for possible military confrontations in an already besieged region,” adding that “through that channel they will reach the Nile and at the same time, will further weaken Egypt and make it completely dependent on them in all aspects…
While it profoundly affects the global course, it is inevitable that it will play a role in escalating regional tension and fueling war.”
From controlling Gaza by emptying it of Palestinians in order to pass the canal directly through that territory, or simply having a good military base to safeguard its curve in order to bring the canal to go though the northern frontier of Gaza, both require total control as well.
During the last few years, water companies from the United States and Israel have been looking for when to start the work.
The required control of Gaza for this endeavor is not just any control!