Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel attacked
Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:14AM
A gas pipeline burning in al-Arish in July. (File Photo)
An Egyptian pipeline supplying gas to Israel and Jordan has been hit with two explosions, making it the seventh assault on the energy route since February.
A first blast occurred around 1:00 a.m. Thursday (2300 GMT Wednesday) 40 kilometers west of the town of al-Arish in the north of the Sinai peninsula, AFP quoted an Egyptian security source as saying.
Witnesses said they had also seen armed men at the scene of explosion.
A second explosion took place near a pumping station in the same sector, causing a blaze.
Previous attacks had interrupted gas supplies to both Israel and Jordan several times, but it was not immediately clear what impact the latest attack would have on the energy route.
The most recent attack was on September 27 and left one person injured.
Egypt has been providing over 40 percent of Israel's gas needs despite nationwide discontent over the issue, especially after the revolution.
Cairo-Tel Aviv gas deal, reached after the 1979 peace accord between the two sides, has come under heavy criticism since former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular revolution in February.
On December 13, 2010, Israel signed 20-year contracts with Egypt worth more than 10 billion dollars (7.4 billion euros) to import Egypt's natural gas.