Jerusalem, April 23 ‒ Alleging a business dispute, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company unilaterally cancelled its contract to supply Israel with gas.
The move may possibly bring to an end to repeated sabotage on the gas pipeline branches that feeds both Israel and Jordan. Fourteen attacks since early 2011 were blamed on a several sources including Islamic terrorists opposed to normalization with Israel and local Bedouin demanding more resources. No gas has reached Israel for months.
The Israeli East Mediterranean Gas Company that purchased the gas is considering legal action, as its 20-year contract to purchase gas was only due to expire in 2028.
The cancellation comes as various political forces in Egypt position themselves ahead of the first round of presidential elections, scheduled for the end of May.
Both of the leading Islamist parties, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Al Nour, made moves to replace burning Egyptian domestic issues with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"We intend to make the Palestinian issue our main issue," said Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood's new presidential candidate. Visiting Gaza, Al Nour Chairman Emad Addin Abudel-Ghafor held three days of meetings with the leaders of the Hamas terrorist organization and said his visit was a symbolic expression "to stand by the Palestinian Mujahideen.”
The Muslim Brotherhood won 45 percent and hardline al-Nour claimed 29 percent of seats in Egypt's recent parliamentary elections.
A senior Israeli official said last week that no matter who emerges from the elections to lead Egypt, the peace treaty between the two was of strategic importance to the region.
“It’s very important for us to have a prosperous Egypt, to have a stable Egypt, to have a democratic Egypt. They will always find us as a partner,” Deputy-Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said. “I think there is a lot of importance to us and to Egypt, but also to the region, with the continued peaceful relations between Israel and Egypt.”