CAIRO, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Repeated attacks on a natural gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel and Jordan should serve as a security warning to Cairo, analysts say.
An attack on a natural gas pipeline in Sinai Peninsula this week was the sixth such assault since Hosni Mubarak's regime was toppled during the country's revolution in February.
Egyptian authorities said firefighters and civilian forces have brought a fire at the natural gas pipeline and pumping station in al-Arish under control
Dan Schueftan, deputy director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa, told Voice of America the attacks were a warning sign for Cairo.
"This is a very major challenge for the new Egypt because it could deteriorate to a situation like what we have in Pakistan, where there are areas of the country that are not under control," he said.
Hisham Kassem, former publisher of Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, adds the security situation in Sinai is being exploited by the Israelis and therefore is a "challenge" to Egyptian sovereignty.
Israel buys about 40 percent of its natural gas from Egypt. Jordan uses Egyptian gas to generate 80 percent of its electricity.
Egypt's gas sales to Israel have become controversial in Egypt amid allegations Israel paid below-market prices for the gas and Egyptian government officials profited from the deal.