Yediot Achronot reports that, 20 years after Israel decided, for diplomatic reasons, not to explore for oil and gas on the Golan Heights, Minister of Energy and Water Resources Uzi Landau has decided to resume the granting of exploration licenses.
Since the application of Israeli law on the Golan in 1981, it was decided that the Petroleum Law also applied to the Golan and that it was possible to search for oil.
Following attempts at negotiations with Syria by the Yitzhak Rabin government, the government froze exploration licenses. In 1996, during Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister, there were calls to renew the exploration licenses. The Syrians quickly denounced the move, Israel officially denied any such intention, and the idea to renew the licenses was never put into effect.
A few weeks ago, Landau decided to reopen the Golan to oil and gas exploration and the decision was secretly approved.