Egypt’s gas pipeline to Israel attacked for 10th time

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Egypt’s gas pipeline to Israel was attacked for the 10th time since the beginning of the year.

Sunday’s attack did not stop the flow of gas on the line near El Arish in the Sinai Peninsula because it had not yet been restarted following an attack on Nov. 28. The explosion reportedly was detonated by remote control.

Gas between Israel and Egypt has flowed for only two days since June, according to the Israeli business daily Globes.

No group has claimed responsibility for the series of attacks.

Also Sunday, Egyptian activists remained holed up in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to protest the army’s grip on power. Several protesters reportedly were beaten to death by soldiers over the weekend.

Egypt supplies Israel with more than 40 percent of its natural gas needs to produce electricity; electricity prices have risen by more than 10 percent in Israel since the attacks began.

The first attack on the pipeline came in February during the uprisings against deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

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 pact.

Jordan recently agreed to pay a higher price for its gas, Reuters reported. Egypt is expected to demand that Israel also agree to a price hike, according to reports.
 

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