Slideshow: Israel's Oil Dreams Kick Off Environmental Battle

When you think of petroleum in the Middle East, Israel is hardly the place that comes to mind.

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Well, Israel recently announced controversial plans to drill for natural gas in a contested region of the Mediterranean Sea.

And now an Israeli firm contends that the country is sitting on an oil bonanza, in the form of a vast deposit of energy-rich rock known as oil shale.

The company says the resource could transform Israel's energy economy, but its plans have set off an environmental battle replete with biblical imagery.