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Israeli ministry: Flow of natural gas from Egypt resumes

Oct. 23, 2011 8:41 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 24, 2011 6:41 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- The flow of natural gas from Egypt to Israel has resumed after a cut of several months due to repeated militant attacks, Israel's National Infrastructure Ministry said on Sunday.

It said gas began to flow in reduced quantities on Thursday night to test the system, before a resumption of full levels.

Egypt's Sinai desert pipeline which connects to Israel has been attacked by militants six times this year, and an Israeli official said the state has not received gas through the pipeline since a bombing in July.

Egypt supplies 43 percent of Israel's natural gas, which generates 40 percent of Israeli electricity.

National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau said in April that his country would have to find alternatives if the Egyptian gas exports did not resume.

The sale of gas to Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, has always been controversial in the Arab world's most populous country.

According to a Cairo newspaper report in early October, Egypt is to substantially raise the price of its gas exports to Israel.

Egypt's Oil Minister Abdullah Ghurab said there would be "a large increase in the price" after a revision to be announced soon, the state-owned daily Al-Ahram reported.
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