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Egypt’s Gas Pipeline Comes Under Attack

Once again, Jordan's natural gas supply has been interrupted by terrorism on the pipeline in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/7/2013, 11:59 AM

Gas pipeline explosion (illustrative)
Gas pipeline explosion (illustrative)
Flash 90

Once again, Jordan's natural gas supply has been interrupted by terrorism in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Unnamed terrorists targeted Egypt’s natural gas pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, sending a fireball up into the sky. 

The attack followed a wave of violence at security checkpoints around the Sinai region, according to media reports.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack on the pipeline, nor for the attacks on the checkpoints, according to Albawaba. Nor is it clear whether either is related to last week’s military overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi.

Jordan currently continues to receive its natural gas supplies from Egypt, despite the unreliability of the pipeline, which has been attacked at least 15 times since former President Hosni Mubarak was deposed in the January 25 Revolution in 2011.

Last month the Jordanian government began holding talks to become the first to purchase natural gas from Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported. Two years of constant interruptions and outages on the Egyptian natural gas pipeline to Jordan via the Sinai Peninsula due to terrorism has made the resource increasingly expensive and unreliable for the Hashemite Kingdom.

Egypt long ago lost control over the region, also since Mubarak’s ouster, with various terrorist groups having built their training bases there. Al Qaeda and Hizbullah terrorists, as well as members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad attack Egyptian security forces at will. They also use the region as a base from which to launch attacks against Israel. 

Israel's Cabinet several weeks ago approved a plan to export up to 40 percent of new energy reserves discovered beneath the Mediterranean Sea off the Israeli coastline. Egypt's abrupt cancellation of its contract to sell gas to Israel a year ago was, in the short run, very expensive for Israelis but in the longer run not as damaging as Israelis initially feared.