Egyptian gas flows again to Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Egypt has renewed pumping gas to Israel through a pipeline that has been attacked six times in less than a year.

Gas had not flowed to Israel through the pipeline since July.

The return of Egyptian gas began Sunday following a short test the previous week. Gas flow was renewed as well to Jordan, which 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.

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 most recent attack came in late September, when three men fired on the pipeline at a pumping station in the northern Sinai.

The first attack on the pipeline came in February during the uprisings against deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In July, machine-gun toting men overtook guards before blowing up a station in the Sinai.

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.

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