By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani
"CAIRO, Jul 7, 2011 (IPS) - The pipeline that carries Egyptian natural gas to Israel was attacked by unknown perpetrators on Monday (Jul. 4), the third such incident since the Jan. 25 Revolution that ended the rule of longstanding former president Hosni Mubarak....
Many energy experts, meanwhile, say Egyptian natural gas should be used to meet domestic consumption needs rather than being sold to foreign buyers at reduced prices. They point to a recent shortage of butane gas - the main source of fuel in most Egyptian households - which caused black- market prices for butane cylinders to skyrocket more than 600 percent.
"If Egyptian gas went to the domestic market instead of export, Egypt would save itself the cost of subsidising petroleum products, which accounts for more than 100 billion Egyptian pounds (16.8 billion dollars) of the current budget," said Zahran.....
According to Hatem al-Buluk, an Egyptian journalist based in North Sinai, the bombings might have been the work of "Sinai-based revolutionaries" opposed to the notion of selling gas to Israel - particularly in light of the latter's continued abuse of the Palestinian people. "This theory is supported by the fact that none of the attacks resulted in any deaths or injuries," al-Buluk told IPS.
In an indication of the deep popular opposition to the export arrangement, some prominent public figures praised the attacks, calling them "acts of patriotism".
"These acts constitute a legitimate response to the sale of Egyptian gas - at reduced prices - to an enemy of Egypt," Mahmoud al-Khodeiri, former deputy head of Egypt's Supreme Court, said."