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Libya’s eastern-based House of Representatives (HoR) has called for the immediate exit of ambassadors supporting Israel amid airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and demanded that Libyan oil exports to those same countries be halted, according to Turkish and Libyan media reports.
“We demand the government halt oil and gas exports to countries supporting Israel in case the Israeli massacres are not stopped,” parliamentary spokesman Abdullah Belihaq said in a statement on Wednesday.
Specifically, Libya’s eastern-based parliament condemned support for Israel coming from the U.S., the UK, France and Italy, calling the conflict a “genocide led by the US and the West against disarmed people under blockade”. The statement coming out of eastern Benghazi, which houses Libya’s rival government, came on the same day that U.S. officials are visiting Tripoli, the western seat of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) to discuss security.
There are no indications that the Tripoli GNA government has supported the eastern HoR’s statements on Gaza. It is not possible for the eastern government to unilaterally halt oil exports without launching Libya into another civil war. While the east has the capability to physically intervene in oil production and export terminals, Libya’s oil revenues are more nominally controlled by the western government.
The UN is calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemning Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel but also noting, “Those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people”. The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza claimed on Tuesday that more than 700 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in just 24 hours. Libyan and Turkish estimates are that some 8,000 people have been killed so far in the conflict, over 6,500 of them Palestinians.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com