The Egyptian court cancels the controversial 20-year gas deal to Israel

The Egyptian court ordered on the 18th of Nov. the government to suspend gas exports to Israel, although it is not clear whether the ruling will be heeded.
Judges ruled in favor of Ibrahim Yousri, a lawyer who says that Egypt is losing $9m for each day that Cairo upholds the fixed-price agreement with Tel Aviv.
The court said the deal should have been put before Egypt’s parliament before being finalized.
 There has been widespread opposition in Egypt to the exports because of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
Many take issue with Israel’s continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip, where food and fuel supplies have been severely restricted.
Reports say that the government in Cairo may challenge the ruling or merely ignore it, as it has done on several other issues.
Many Egyptians view the gas deal with their former enemy as a betrayal, although Tuesday’s court ruling can be appealed against by the government.
Egypt began to pipe natural gas to Israel in May, in line with a 2005 agreement to deliver 1.7 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
In addition to political objections, Egyptian activists have said Israel is buying the gas at prices below the international level.

Egyptian petroleum officials have not commented on the ruling, but Israel’s infrastructure ministry said it had “no doubt” the gas deal remained valid.


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