Armed men have blown up a gas pipeline connecting Israel to Egypt, according to media reports.
Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language news channel cited local sources as saying that the sabotage operation took place in the Sinai’s Bir el-Abd region on Sunday evening.
The report did not provide any further information regarding possible motives or identities behind the attack. Israeli follow-up reports have claimed that the pipeline remains “functional” and that the incident is under investigation.
The attack comes after Israel started exporting natural gas from the “Leviathan” natural gas field off the coast of occupied Palestine into Egypt on January 15.
The new gas pipeline has been described by Israeli officials to be of strategic importance for the Israeli regime which is largely isolated in the region.
Israel had been previously importing gas from Egypt until Cairo canceled the exports in 2012 after a series of explosions targeted gas export operations to Israel in the first six months of 2011.
Tel Aviv’s multi-billion-dollar gas deal with Amman has also prompted numerous protest rallies in Jordan in recent months. In December, unidentified people torched infrastructure related to the Israeli gas exports in Irbid, northern Jordan.
The reports regarding Sunday’s attack come as regional tensions have been running high after United States President Donald Trump unveiled the so-called “deal of the century” alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.
The US-Israeli initiative enshrines Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allows the regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
The plan also denies the right of return of Palestinian refugees into their homeland, among other controversial terms.
Palestinian factions have unanimously rejected the so-called deal and have vowed to work together to counter the initiative.
The “deal of the century” has also aroused much anger and condemnation in the region and across the world.