Egypt cancels gas pact with Israel
April 24, 2012 | Jewish Tribune
JERUSALEM – Egypt cancelled its natural gas agreement with Israel, reportedly abrogating the original Egypt-Israel peace treaty of 1979.
The unilateral announcement was made Sunday by Egypt’s national gas company EGAS, according to The Marker, an Israeli business daily.
The 2005 deal between the governments of Israel and Egypt promised that Cairo would allocate 7 billion cubic metres of natural gas to Israel for 20 years, with an option to double the amount.
The 1979 peace treaty had required Egypt to supply Israel with oil; it was later amended to natural gas.
Egypt’s pipeline in the Sinai supplying natural gas to Israel was attacked earlier this month for the 14th time since uprisings began in February 2011 against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was deposed. No arrests have been made in any of the attacks.
The supply of gas to Israel has been halted numerous times in the last year, leading to a scramble to find alternate fuel sources to produce electricity that are more expensive.
Egypt supplied Israel with more than 40 per cent of its natural gas needs to produce electricity; electricity prices have risen by more than 20 per cent in Israel since the attacks began.