Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel attacked for fifth time

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A pipeline that carries gas from Egypt to Israel was attacked for the fifth time in the past six months.

The attack July 30 on the natural gas pipeline is the third this month. The targeted pipeline, which serves Israel exclusively and will not affect the delivery of gas to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, according to The Jerusalem Post reported, had still been shut down from a previous attack on July 11.

Gunmen reportedly shot rocket-propelled grenades at the Al Shuluq terminal in northern Sinai, the first time the terminal has been targeted. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack came a day after clashes between security forces and masked gunmen outside a police station in the nearby town of Al Arish, in which five people were killed.

Egypt supplies Israel with more than 40 percent of its natural gas needs to produce electricity. Due in part to the shortage of natural gas, electricity prices in Israel are slated to increase by 18 percent.

The first attack on the pipeline came in February during the uprisings against deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In March, explosives failed to detonate in a second attempt to bomb the pipeline. Another attack on April 27 blew up part of the pipeline in El-Arish, again halting the gas supply.

Selling gas to Israel has been unpopular on the Egyptian street since the opening of the pipeline in 2008. Mubarak has been accused of giving Israel a sweetheart deal on the gas, since Egypt lost more than $714 million on the deal.

Egyptian leaders have said they plan to renegotiate the deal with Israel.  

 

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