Friday, March 18, 2011

Egypt resumes gas exports to Israel amid public dispute

Source: Press TV

Egypt resumed exporting natural gas to Israel after a one-month hiatus due to an explosion, which damaged the pipeline delivering gas to Israel, Jordan and Syria.

For Egyptians the issue of supplying Israel with gas has always been a contentious one.

Ibrahim Yousri a former judge leads a popular campaign against gas exports to Israel and has already won a court case for the terms of the Israeli gas deal.

On Wednesday, Israeli firms confirmed that supplies had resumed but that initial quantities were below normal level. The resumption of gas deliveries was delayed repeatedly due to leaks.

Later, there were conflicting reports about gas deliveries to Israel and according to North Sinai (Syenai) governor, the damaged pipeline had not been fully repaired.

Israel gets around 40% of its gas supply from Egypt at a considerably low price. As such, there is widespread oppossition to the $2.5-billion export deal with Israel, which was signed in 2005.

Most experts think the terms of the deal need to be revised.

Following suggestions by Egyptian officials that the contract may be renegotiated or scrapped altogether, Israel is reportedly considering contingency plans to avoid energy shortfalls.

Despite 1979 peace treaty, most Egyptians view Israel as an enemy and oppose doing any kind of business with it.

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