Armed insurgents have blown up a gas pipeline in the northern Sinai connecting Egypt and Israel, according to media reports.
Al-Jazeera Arabic reported the apparent sabotage attack on Sunday evening, citing local sources. Follow-up reports suggested that the pipeline remained “functional.”
The attack took place in the Bir al-Abd region of the Sinai area, where gas pipelines have been frequent targets before. In 2011, the Egypt-Israel pipeline was blown up on three separate occasions.
Egypt began supplying gas to Israel and Jordan in 2008, but the agreement was met with widespread public opposition, due to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
@nblenergy and Delek have finalized their acquisition of EMG pipeline, enabling a landmark $15 billion natural gas export deal between #Egypt and #Israel begin next year #oott#lng#energy@EgyptOilandGaspic.twitter.com/MJeUDypdFF
— Samer Mosis (@Samermosis) September 30, 2018
The pipeline targeted by militants on Sunday had just this month began supplying Egypt with Israeli gas, a reversal of its role since 2008.
The Sinai peninsula was seized from Egypt by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, and handed back in 1982 after the signing of a peace treaty three years earlier. In recent years, this rugged desert has become a hotspot of insurgency, where Islamic State-linked militias have engaged in sporadic battles with Egyptian security forces.