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Arabic press review: Egypt to pay Israel $500m to settle gas dispute

After three years, Egypt says it will pay up to end gas deal feud. And in Tunisia, authorities arrest a Saudi Airlines crew over alleged murder attempt
Flames rise from a pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula that delivered gas to Israel and Jordan after an explosion (AFP)

Egypt pays half a billion to Israel

Egypt says it has agreed to pay $500m to the state-owned Israel Electricity Corporation, settling a years-long battle over suspended natural gas exports, the London-based newspaper al-Arabi al-Jadeed reports.

In 2012, after repeat attacks on a pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian gas exports to Israel were halted. Three years later, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) ordered Egypt to pay about $1.8bn in compensation to the Israeli company.

In a statement on Sunday, the state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company said they will pay the reduced amount owed over eight and a half years.

Last year, Israel's Delek Drilling and its partner Noble Energy signed a deal to export $15bn of natural gas from Israel to Dolphinus Holding, a private company in Egypt.

The Egyptian energy minister had reportedly said that the Delek-Noble-Dolphinus deal hinged on settling the earlier dispute. Meanwhile, the Israeli government agreed to reduce the amount if the Egyptian government would allow its private sector to important Israel's gas, according to Mada Masr news site.

Tunisia stops Saudi airline crew over alleged crime 

Tunisian authorities have arrested members of a Saudi airline crew suspected of trying to kill a fellow employee during a party at a Tunis hotel, according to the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.

According to the report, members of the aircrew - including the pilot, aides and flight attendants - were picked up at Carthage Airport. A Saudi Arabian Airlines flight was also cancelled.

Following a party at a hotel in Tunis, the victim was reportedly found lying next to a swimming pool in critical condition and was taken to nearby hospital. It was not clear from the report when the party was held.

The Saudi Airlines Administration in Tunis issued a statement on Twitter saying that one of its staff members had been "seriously injured" and his health was being monitored. The company added that Saudi embassy and Tunisian authorities were investigating the incident. 

*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.