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Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel attacked for ninth time

JTA

November 28, 2011 | 11:38 am

Flames rising from blown pipelines at al-Sabeel in Sinai Nov. 28, 20111. Photo by REUTERS/Stringer

Flames rising from blown pipelines at al-Sabeel in Sinai Nov. 28, 20111. Photo by REUTERS/Stringer

Egypt’s gas pipeline to Israel was blown up for the ninth time in less than a year.

The attack came Monday, just hours before Egyptians went to the polls to elect a new government in free elections. A previous attack on the pipeline came just three days earlier.

Monday’s attack occurred near al-Arish in the Sinai. Two consecutive explosions occurred within about 100 feet of each other, Reuters reported. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Egyptian government said earlier this month that it would tighten security along the pipeline.

Gas had only recently been flowing again through the pipeline after months of repairs.

Egypt supplies Israel with more than 40 percent of its natural gas needs to produce electricity; electricity prices have risen by more than 10 percent in Israel since the attacks began.

The first attack on the pipeline came in February during the uprisings against deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In July, machine-gun toting men overtook guards before blowing up a station in the Sinai. In late September three men fired on the pipeline at a pumping station in the northern Sinai.

Selling gas to Israel has been unpopular on the Egyptian street since the opening of the pipeline in 2008. Mubarak has been accused of giving Israel a sweetheart deal on the gas, since Egypt lost more than $714 million on the pact.

Jordan recently agreed to pay a higher price for its gas, Reuters reported. Egypt is expected to demand that Israel also agree to a price hike, according to reports.

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