Unknown gunmen have blown up a gas pipeline between Egypt and Israel in Sinai Peninsula’s northern area of Bir Al-Abed, Israeli local media reported yesterday.
Ynet News quoted official security sources as saying that “six masked men had placed and detonated explosive devices under the gas tube.”
The sources added that the Israeli authorities had stopped the pipeline’s gas pumping operations “in order to control the massive fire.”
On its part, the Israeli energy ministry said the flow of natural gas transferred from Israel to Egypt through the pipeline was continuing to be “undisturbed,” adding that the ministry was examining the attack reports with the relevant authorities.
This is not the first time for the pipeline – which transfers gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan – to be attacked. It was blown up and its operations were interrupted around 15 times during the 2011 upspring period.
In 2018, Egypt and Israel signed a $15 billion deal to provide Cairo with 64 billion cubic meters of gas over a 10-year period through Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar gas fields. Last October, Israeli companies operating the two fields said they were increasing the amount of natural gas they plan to export to Egypt. They noted that the estimated value of exported gas was amounting to $19.5 billion – $14 billion coming from Leviathan and $5.5 billion from Tamar.
Egypt has long claimed it is fighting Islamist militants who have waged an insurgency that has killed hundreds of soldiers, police, and residents, in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.