Saboteurs attacked a gas pipeline in Egypt on 5 February, forcing authorities to shut of the supply to Jordan and Israel.

The attack took place near the town of Lihfen on northern Sinai, according to newswire AFP.

There is no evidence that the event is linked to the anti-government demonstrations that have shaken Egypt over the past two weeks, but opposition groups have called for gas exports to Israel to be stopped.

Egypt currently supplies around 40 per cent of natural gas consumed by Israel, and Israeli firms signed 20-year contracts worth up to $10bn for the supply of Egyptian gas in December 2010.

Jordan, which generates around 80 per cent of its electricity with Egyptian gas, is facing a loss of $3.5 million for every day the gas is not flowing, according to a government official quoted by AFP, as power generation will have to switch to diesel feedstock.

The official expected the supplies to resume “in three or four days”.