Egyptians have demanded that their government turn off the gas on Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
“The people demand the cancellation of normalization,” chanted protesters yesterday near Israel’s embassy in Cairo.
“The gas must stop,” they continued, demanding Egypt close the tap on one of Israel’s greatest vulnerabilities. A protester told Maan News: “If the government won’t cut it off, the people will.”
Israel get nearly 40 percent of its natural gas from Egypt, at bargain prices. This lucrative pricing comes from a gas deal came from the reign of Hosni Mubarak and is currently under investigation for corruption.
The explosion yesterday between a Sinai gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel and Jordan created an enormous fireball and 20-meter high flames still burning. This is the second pipeline attack since the popular 25 January revolt against Mubarak. Israel’s infrastructure minister Uzi Landau, proponent of Operation Cast Lead II, said the attack was proof the country needed to find alternatives to Egyptian gas – like the gigantic Tamar natural gas field or disputed reserves offshore of Haifa, Tel Aviv and Gaza.
Landau boasted Israel could make up for any Egyptian gas deficit by 2013, when the British-managed Tamar natural gas field off of Haifa would become operational. Tamar and the even larger Leviathan field have a combined estimated reserve of 24 trillion cubic meters, their worth inestimable.
Egypt’s new post-revolution leadership, still in flux and hosting the historic unification talks between Palestine’s factions, has announced it will review Mubarak-era gas deals, including Israel, and raise prices. Israel began recieving Egyptian gas in 2008 and had allowed extra Egyptian armed forces in the Sinai specifically to safeguard the pipeline.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon told the Washington Post that, with revolution raging all around it, Israel “must achieve self-sufficiency in its energy needs.”
On Israeli public radio, senior defense ministry official Amos Gilad said “[the [gas] situation is very delicate, the only possible policy is to rely on the Egyptians.->http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/04/201142734443313150.html]”