Egypt’s announcement that it has stopped supplying gas to Israel has been hailed by many Egyptians and the country’s media.
Cairo has blamed unpaid bills for the decision to end a deal struck in 2005. Israel said payments were halted because of repeated attacks by militants on the gas pipeline that supplies the country.
Many Egyptians think the decision is political. “This is the best thing that Egypt has done since last year’s revolution. The old regime should have cut all relations with Israel,” said Cairo resident Hany Abd El Aziz.
Another local resident, Gaber Mohamed, hopes Egyptians will benefit from the decision: “This is a step that we should have taken a long time ago. Egyptians are suffering from a lack of domestic gas supply because we are selling it to Israel at a very low price,” he said.
Israel relies on Egyptian gas for as much as 40 percent of its natural gas needs. Experts think Israel negotiated a knockdown price for the gas.
The gas pipeline that serves Israel runs through the lawless Sinai desert region. There have been 14 sabotage attacks on the pipeline since former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was deposed last January.
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