Six terrorists, reportedly Bedouin, tried to blow up the Egyptian-Israeli gas pipeline Sunday for the second time in two months. The timer failed to detonate the explosives, preventing a huge economic and political crisis.
Six terrorists overwhelmed a lone guard at the El-Sabil gas terminal, planted the bomb and fled, despite the recent deployment of hundreds of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai.
"They failed to detonate the bombs and fled the scene. Even the security guard was missing when police arrived, according to the French news agency AFP.
Unofficial reports said the terrorists were Bedouin from the Sinai Peninsula. Bedouin have placed themselves as the rulers in several parts of the region since the uprising against then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Bedouin have also been increasingly active in cooperating with Hamas, helping its terrorists in carrying out attacks against Israel.
An explosion at another gas terminal in early February disrupted the flow of gas to Israel until last week. Egypt originally said the blast in February was an accident, but later admitted it was the result of a terrorist attack during the uprising.
Several media reports have indicated that Egypt delayed resumption of the gas supply and has decreased the amounts of gas in order to pressure for a higher price than called for in the original agreement. The new interim Egyptian military government is considered to be even more anti-Israeli than the regime of Mubarak, who refused to visit Jerusalem despite the peace treaty signed in 1979.
His lone appearance in the capital was for the funeral of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.
Egypt supplies Israel with 40 percent of its natural gas, but recent discoveries of natural gas off Israel’s Mediterranean Coast are expected to transform Israel into an exporter of energy in several years.