Mubarak: Egypt forced Israel to pay triple for gas

Former Egyptian president reportedly told investigators that Israel pays more for Egyptian natural gas than any other country.

July 17, 2011 15:21
2 minute read.
Hosni Mubarak

Mubarak 311 Reuters. (photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak claimed that Israel was forced to pay prices three-times above market value, Egyptian daily Youm7 reported over the weekend. "We stopped exporting for sometime until we pushed them to raise the price from $1 to $3 and to allow us to review the price every three years," Mubarak told investigator Mustafa Suleiman who questioned him over the natural gas treaty with Israel. "They agreed with great difficulty to both conditions."

Youm7 published the transcript of the interrogation on Friday. Mubarak was questioned at the Sharm e-Sheikh hospital. He was questioned again in late April and on May 10 about the gas contract.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Egyptian gas not expected to return soon
Hosni Mubarak charged with murder in criminal court
Israeli delegation in Egypt for gas talks

The main charge in the Egyptian government's case against Mubarak is that the price of gas set in a contract with Israel was below the market price. Prosecutors claim that the deal cost Egypt $715 million.

Israel says that this figure is based on a New York Times article, which the paper later corrected. Yosef Maiman's Merhav Group, a shareholder in Egypt's East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), which handles exports to Israel, said that Israel paid Egypt more than all its other export markets.

Mubarak denied any responsibility for setting the price of the natural gas in the contracts. He also denied any role in the appointment of his associate, Hussain Salem as chairman of EMG. Mubarak said that Salem "is a businessman like many others. I met him in the US when I was vice president and I enlisted him and others to help develop [the] Sinai. He's just a business acquaintance like other businessmen I deal with." He added that EMG "substantially contributed to the Egyptian intelligence service."

Mubarak added, "The deal dates from the time of [former prime minister] Yitzhak Rabin, I can't recall the exact date. He told me in a meeting that there was a clause in the peace treaty which allowed Israel to purchase petrol from Egypt by entering a public sale alongside other buyers and indeed petrol was exported to them for some time.

"When we were in need of gas I asked him whether we could exchange the export of petrol to the export of gas through public sales too. Then Dr. Atef Ebeed became prime minister. I instructed him to enter negotiations with the Israelis regarding the export of gas and eventually the gas line was built."

Ebeed was a representative of Egyptian Intelligence, which is the body responsible for Egypt's relations with Israel.

Related Content

Euro (illustrative)
August 19, 2018
German firms in line with U.S. Iran sanctions