Massive Explosion in Sinai: Armed Men Target Israel-Egypt Gas Pipeline

Egyptian security officials and Arab media said that several armed individuals have blown up a gas pipeline connecting Israel and Egypt, on Sunday night.

Reports indicated that at least six masked men have planted explosives under the pipeline in the Egyptian town of Bir al-Abd, in northern Sinai.

The explosion sent thick flames of fire shooting into the sky, and authorities stopped the flow of gas to extinguish the fire, Egyptian officials said, as reported in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Israel has begun pumping natural gas to Egypt on January 15, under a 15-year deal which has been described by Israeli officials as the most significant deal to emerge since the countries signed a historic peace treaty in 1979.

Jordan too receives large shipments of Israeli gas according to a newly-implemented deal, which has resulted in mass protests throughout the country.

Israel is diversifying beyond exerting regional economic dominance to becoming a big player on the international geopolitical stage as well, Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud, wrote in a recent editorial.

This means that Israel is using Egypt and Jordan as a starting point for its gas exports that will eventually reach Europe, and even beyond.

The EastMed pipeline project � which primarily involves Israel � estimated at Euros 6bn, is expected to cover 10% of Europe’s overall need for natural gas, Baroud also said.

As for Israeli gas exports to Egypt, they will gradually reach 7 billion cubic meters.

Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings reached a landmark deal last year with the Israeli companies operating the Israeli fields Leviathan and Tamar.

The blown-up gas pipeline in Sinai is directly linked to the Leviathan field.

Source: Palestine Chronicle