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Egyptian gas line to Israel, Jordan hit

Feb. 5, 2012 at 11:43 PM

EL ARISH, Israel, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Egypt's Arish natural gas pipeline to Jordan and Israel was blown up Sunday, Egyptian security forces said.

The attack came near el-Arish, in the northern Sinai Peninsula. It was the 12th time since the end of the Mubarak regime last year that the pipeline was interrupted, the newspaper Egypt Independent reported. Gunmen were responsible, the newspaper said, but no group had claimed responsibility.

The 750-mile pipeline carries Egypt's entire supply of exported natural gas, 90 million cubic feet daily. Jordanian Prime Minister Awn al-Khasawneh said the pipeline stoppages have cost his country about $2 billion in the past year.

The gas agreement with Israel, negotiated and signed during the Mubarak era, provides Israel with a supply of natural gas at below-market prices, and has been a source of friction between Egyptian political parties.

Israel imports 43 percent of its natural gas from Egypt. Jordan imports 80 percent of its needs.

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