TEL AVIV, Israel, April 27 (UPI) -- Israelis must start making plans to gain energy independence from Egypt, an official said after an explosion struck an Egyptian gas terminal near the border.
A pipeline carrying natural gas to Israel and Jordan was attacked early Wednesday causing an explosion at a terminal west of El Arish approximately 30 miles south of the Israeli border.
It is the third attack on the pipeline in recent months. Last month armed gunmen attempted to detonate explosives planted on the pipeline. On Feb. 6 the gas supply to Jordan and Israel was halted after terrorists attacked the pipeline.
There was no official claim of responsibility for Wednesday's attack.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said conflict in the Middle East was seen as a long-term issue, adding his country "must achieve self-sufficiency in its energy needs," Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted him as saying.
Israel gets about 20 percent of its electricity needs from gas supplied through the Egyptian pipeline.
The country heralded a sea change in its energy sector last year with the announcement that the Leviathan gas field off the coast of Haifa holds at least 18 trillion cubic feet of gas. The potential at Leviathan followed the 2009 discovery of the Tamar gas field off the Israeli coast, which holds around 8 trillion cubic feet of gas.