Egypt’s military has confirmed on Friday that a “limited explosion” struck a vital natural gas pipeline in the northern part of the Sinai peninsula on Thursday.
This after on the same night the Islamic State announced via its Telegram channel that it sabotaged the gas pipeline, which transports natural gas between Egypt and Israel.
— Islamic World Update (@islamicworldupd) November 19, 2020
Egyptian security officials described that at least six masked militants planted explosives under the pipeline near the remote town of el-Arish, while Reuters cited witnesses who say it caused a major blast in the process.
However, despite regional news reports airing footage of a fireball over the sight reaching high into the sky, authorities say it didn’t impact gas transport and that the pipeline is still operational.
“Three witnesses told Reuters they saw flames and thick plumes of smoke rose from the pipeline, from their vantage points in and around the city of al-Arish,” according to a report. “North Sinai local authorities said in a statement the fire had been extinguished and it had not affected gas supplies.”
ISIS claimed it caused “great material damage” to the line but didn’t offer evidence. It may have also been another local allied terror group.
— Oded Berkowitz (@Oded121351) November 19, 2020
The Al Arish-Al Qantara natural gas pipeline, also sometimes called simply the Arab pipeline, has been subject of multiple similar attacks in recent years, given it controversially links Egypt and Israel.
Meanwhile Israel is reportedly considering more oil and gas transit deals with Arab states, given the latest US-brokered peace and ‘normalization’ of ties deals struck between the Jewish state and the UAE, Bahrain, and with the latest in the works being Arab League member Sudan.