Oil prices rise following Hamas attack on Israel

Oil prices have risen on fears that the crisis between Israel and Gaza may impede Middle Eastern supplies.

Brent crude, the worldwide standard, jumped $2.50 to $87.05, while US prices rose as well.

Although Israel and the Palestinian territories do not produce oil, the Middle Eastern region accounts for over one-third of global supplies.

The Hamas attack on Israel was the most serious escalation between the two sides in decades.

The attacks were criticized by Western nations. A Hamas spokeswoman informed the BBC that the Palestinian terrorist group received direct support for the plan from Iran, one of the world’s greatest oil producers.

According to Reuters, Iran denied involvement in the attack at a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Sunday. However, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has stated his support for the strike.

According to energy researcher Saul Kavonic, global oil prices have risen “due to the prospect of a larger conflagration spreading to nearby major oil-producing nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, was up $2.70 a barrel to $85.50 on Monday morning.

“If the conflict envelops Iran, which has been accused of supporting the Hamas attacks, up to 3% of global oil supply is at risk,” he said.

Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics, told the BBC’s Today programme that despite US sanctions, Iran had increased oil production this year.

“The US seems to have turned a blind eye to a steady increase in Iranian production, that… is going to be more difficult for the US to ignore going forward from here,” she went on to say.

Overall, Ms Bain predicted that demand for oil will surpass supply in the final three months of the year, which “should support higher prices.”

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