Tel Aviv has commented on an Al Jazeera Arabic report of an attempt to sabotage the Egypt-Israel pipeline. Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz stated that the gas supply remains unaffected and a probe into the attack has been launched.
"At this time, the natural gas is flowing from Israel to Egypt. The matter of the explosion, as it was, was examined by the ministry in coordination with all relevant parties", Steinitz said, cited by the Israeli state-run Kan (Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation) media outlet.
הדיווח על פיצוץ צינור הגז בין ישראל למצרים | מלשכת שר האנרגיה, יובל שטייניץ, נמסר: "נכון לשעה זו, הגז הטבעי זורם בצינור מישראל ומגיע למצרים. עניין הפיצוץ, ככל שהיה, נבדק על ידי המשרד בתיאום עם כלל הגורמים הרלוונטיים"@lielkyzer— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) February 2, 2020
Earlier on Sunday, Al Jazeera reported that the attack against Egypt-Israel pipeline took place in Egypt's Bir Al-Abd, located in the northern Sinai area. The attackers reportedly remain unidentified, and no militant or terrorist group has claimed responsibility.
A tweet reads: "Urgent | Sources to Al Jazeera: Gunmen blow up the gas line between # Egypt and Israel in the Bir al-Abd area in North Sinai".
Netizens have shared alleged footage from the scene of the incident, blaming militants for the Sunday's attack.
Militants sabotage Egypt-Israel gas pipeline east of Bir Abd in North Sinai.— Egypt Defence Review (@EgyptDefReview) February 2, 2020
The pipeline recently began transporting gas from Israel to Egypt after laying dormant for several years due to legal disputes and security issues. pic.twitter.com/kDraycZ11k
The same gas lines were blown up three times during the first six months of 2011, before Cairo suspended gas supplies to Tel Aviv, The Jerusalem Post said.
The new agreement on gas supplies between Egypt and Israel reportedly follows a $15 billion decade-long deal signed by Delek Drilling and Houston-based Noble Energy in February 2018 to supply 64 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas to Egypt from the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields, located off Israel.
The Tamar gas field is located in Israel's exclusive economic zone, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Haifa. It is considered to have proven reserves of 200 billion cubic meters.
The Sinai Peninsula remains a hotbed of terrorist activity. Egypt regularly carries out anti-terrorist raids to purge hardcore militants reportedly infesting the region.