Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blast Hits Egypt Gas Pipeline to Israel, Jordan

Blast hits Egypt gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:14AM GMT

A pipeline, transferring Egypt's natural gas to Israel and Jordan, has once again been hit by a major blast, the fifteenth such attack on the conduit since last February 2011.

Unidentified gunmen attacked the energy link, which crosses the Sinai Peninsula, on Saturday night in northern Sinai at the entrance of the Mediterranean coastal town of El-Arish.

According to a source, local security forces “hurried to the place to monitor the situation and firefighters were still trying to extinguish the fire.”

A group of masked gunmen in a small truck drove up to the pipeline, dug a hole, and placed explosive charges under the pipeline that they detonated from a distance, eyewitnesses said.

No group or individual has yet claimed responsibility for the attack and no casualties have been reported so far.

Egypt tentatively renewed pumping gas to Israel and Jordan in February after a disruption caused by several attacks on the pipeline, according to official media.

The issue of supplying gas to the Israeli regime has always been a contentious topic for Egyptians who view Tel Aviv as their number-one enemy and oppose engaging in any form of business with it.

Egypt was forced to agree to supplying gas to Israel as a major precondition for annual American economic aid package, which was part of the 1979 US-sponsored "peace treaty" between Cairo and Tel Aviv.

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