Saturday, February 5, 2011

Attack on Egypt - Israel Gas Line

Earlier this morning, the main pipeline transporting natural gas from Egypt to Israel was blown up. The attack took place in the vicinity of El Arish, the largest city in the northern part of the Sinai peninsula. As a result, the flow of Egyptian natural gas, which accounts for 25-40% of Israel's supplies, has ceased indefinitely. With the current instability and uncertainty in Egypt, it's hard to believe this pipeline is going to be fixed any time soon.

While some in Egypt try to calm the situation down and claim that the explosion was caused by a leak, I don't really by it. The northern Sinai is a bit like the wild west, especially now. Gangs of Bedouins rule the roads and a few days a go Egypt's border control with the Gaza strip collapsed, enabling an almost unrestricted flow of people in and out of the strip.

The Egyptians also claim that there was no real damage to the pipe and flow was suspended just as a precautionary measure.

Debka claim that this was a well planned military attack on the line, carried out by special units of the Hamas. While Debka is not the most trustworthy source, they have been fairly reliable on the Egyptian front, reporting that Obama is pressuring Mubarak to depart immediately, 3-4 days before the mainstream media collapsed.

While it is still difficult to make something out of the situation, it is a good indicator of things to come. The Egyptian revolution is just a week old and Israel is already facing the prospects of losing about a third of its natural gas supplies.  If things progress the 'wrong' way in Egypt, the effects could be much harsher, impacting the rest of the world significantly.


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