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Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline in Ashkelon was hit by a Rocket

According to local media reports a fire broke out at the Trans-Israel or Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline in Ashkelon, Israel, after a rocket from Gaza hit a crude oil storage tank on May 11. Violence has escalated with rockets fired at Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip and the Israeli military carrying out retaliatory airstrikes in Gaza. Media reports said civilians have been killed on both sides.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the firefighters are working to control the large fire blazing the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline in Ashkelon after a rocket from Gaza hit a container at the plant during the rocket fire Tuesday evening. The 600,000 barrel per day crude pipeline connects the Red Sea port city of Eilat in southern Israel to the Mediterranean port city of Ashkelon. Many separate pipelines run between Ashkelon and the nearby refinery in Ashdod, and between Ashkelon and the Haifa refinery.

Ashkelon is also home to many independent oil storage tanks used by several international oil companies and trading houses. On May 12, Chevron shut the Tamar gas platform offshore Israel due to recent events. Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, in a comment on Twitter on May 12 said the situation was escalating toward a full-scale war.

The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipelineis operated by Israel’s state-owned Europe-Asia Pipeline Co. A representative at EAPC did not comment on the situation. Europe-Asia Pipeline Co inked an agreement with a UAE-based company to transport oil from the Persian Gulf state and Eastern markets to the West and vice versa, via pipelines linking the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. Europe-Asia Pipeline Co was set up as a joint venture by Israel and Iran in 1968 before ties were cut after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It is now looking at growing its international presence.

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