Egypt’s largest opposition group has condemned a government decision to continue supplying Israel with gas. The banned Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement on its Website that the 20-year deal with the Jewish state is “an ethical and economic scandal.”
Egypt has been under much criticism recently over the gas deal, after Israel refused to lift an economic blockade on the Gaza Strip. Egyptians have called on the government to restrict the gas flowing into Israel “until Israel responds on Gaza demands.”
“This government has turned its back on the Egyptian nation’s will,” leading Brotherhood member Mohamed Al Baltagi said in an interview published on the group’s official Website. He added that Israel was paying far below international standards and that the agreement was not approved by Parliament.
Others echo Al Baltagi’s sentiments, with one activist going as far as saying the government doesn’t “respect” its own people’s ideas. “They continue to supply gas to a nation that has no respect for other people as we have seen in Gaza,” said activist Ahmed Ibrahim – who participated in the 6 April general strike as well as Sunday’s action.
He said if Israel removed many of the restrictions against the Palestinians, there would be no problems honoring the agreement. “But until then, this government needs to take action in the name of the people. We don’t want our nation giving to a country that is putting an entire people in to a large ghetto,” he said, referring to the deteriorating situation in Gaza.
The agreement calls for Egypt to supply Israel with 1.7 billion cubic metres of gas annually for a 15-year period that began in 2005, with an option for an additional five years with a 25 percent increase. The deal is reportedly worth US$2.5 billion.