Sunday, February 05, 2012

5-Feb-12: Gas pipeline is attacked and blown up for twelfth time in a year

Picture from February 2011 of one of the previous explosions
Yet again, the pipeline supplying gas from Egypt to Israel has been blown up, and it looks more and more like a metaphor for relations between the two countries. Terrorists are blamed again, but it's clear that Egypt either won't or can't prevent this kind of thing from happening which means changes are inevitably on the way.

Blast hits Egypt's gas pipeline to Israel     
Latest explosion in el-Arish stops gas pumping. At least 12 other incidents recorded since Mubarak's ouster
Reuters - Published: 02.05.12, 08:20 am

  • An explosion hit a gas pipeline running from Egypt to Israel on Sunday, witnesses and state television reported. The pipeline, which also supplies gas to Jordan, has come under attack at least 12 times since Egyptian resident Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011. The latest blast took place in the Massaeed area west of the Mediterranean coastal town of el-Arish. Gas pumping was stopped after the explosion. Residents in el-Arish told Reuters they could see flames from their town. Security forces and fire trucks raced to the scene, witnesses said.
  • Security in Sinai loosened after Mubarak's fall as the police presence thinned out across Egypt. Egypt's 20-year gas deal with Israel, signed in the Mubarak era, is unpopular with some Egyptians, with critics accusing Israel of not paying enough for the gas. Previous explosions have sometimes led to weeks-long shutdowns along the pipeline, run by Egypt's gas transport company Gasco, a subsidiary of the national gas company EGAS.
  • Egypt said in November it would tighten security measures along the pipeline by installing alarm devices and recruiting security patrols from Bedouin tribesmen in the area.

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