An Egyptian court overturned on Saturday a ruling banning gas sales to Israel, the official news agency MENA reported.
The court had previously ordered a stay of a lower court’s ban in November 2008, which the government appealed and ignored, pending a legal review. It comes weeks after a deal to increase the supply of gas came into effect.
The ruling is bound to anger dissidents who want to cut off the supply to Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979. Israel is unpopular in the country because of its policies in the Palestinian territories.
The Supreme Administrative Court said the lower court had no jurisdiction over what it described as an act of sovereignty.
It added that the government should ensure that the domestic market was well supplied with petroleum products before exporting gas and called on the government to specify the amount and price of exported fuel.
Egypt’s privately owned East Mediterranean Gas began exporting fuel to the state-owned Israel Electric Corp in May 2005, after agreeing to supply 1.7 billion cubic meters (5.6 billion cubic feet) a year for 20 years.
Earlier this month, Ampal-American Israel Corp, which has a 12.5 percent interest in EMG, said a September 2009 deal to increase the supply to 42 billion cubic meters had come into force.
It said the contract was worth roughly $6 billion.