Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel attacked for seventh time


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The gas pipeline between Egypt and Israel was blown up for the seventh time in less than a year.

Thursday’s attack halted gas flow to Israel again after repairs to the pipeline completed last month had resumed delivery to Israel for the first time since July. It also halted gas delivery to Jordan.

The explosion, which was remote controlled, according to reports, took place near the city of Al Arish in the northern Sinai.

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.

The Egyptian government said earlier this month that it would tighten security along the pipeline.

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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