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Summary Box: Israel plays down Egypt gas dispute

The Associated Press

DOWN A NOTCH: Israel's prime minister tried to ease cross-border tensions after Egypt cut off natural gas exports, calling the matter a "business dispute." Comments from Benjamin Netanyahu followed heated statements from other Israeli leaders who called the action politically motivated.

CUT OFF: Late Sunday, Egypt cut exports saying that its Israeli partner of failing to pay its bills. Israeli officials say the payments were halted because repeated attacks by militants on the gas pipeline have all but cut off gas shipments for the past year.

SHARED BORDER/BIG DIFFERENCES: Israel and Egypt signed a historic peace treaty in 1979, and while relations have never been trouble free, a quiet border has been critical for the security of both nations. Egyptian energy exports to Israel and other business ties have helped keep the peace.