Israel’s Environment Minister: Massive Oil Spill Was ‘Environmental Terrorism’ by Ship Sailing From Iran

A clump of tar is seen on the sand after an offshore oil spill drenched much of Israel’s Mediterranean shoreline with tar, at a beach in Ashdod, southern Israel, February 21, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen.

A massive oil spill off Israel’s coast last month that severely polluted its beaches was “environmental terrorism” committed by a Libyan ship sailing from Iran, Israel’s environment minister said Wednesday.

Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported that Minister Gila Gamliel said that the ship was called the Emerald and had left Iran with its transponder off, and only turned it back on when it reached the Syrian coast.

Gamliel appeared certain that the spill was not an accident, saying, “There’s someone here who wanted to cause harm, definitely.”

She described the incident as “environmental terrorism.”

Gamliel added that the ship is two decades old and would not have been allowed to dock at US or European ports.

“The ship is now in Iran,” she said, and added that Israel “will demand compensation and sue for damages.”

However, an unnamed senior security official appeared to reject Gamliel’s claims, telling Kan, “There is no known Iranian involvement” with the ship.

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