Israeli Environment Minister Claims Iran Is Behind ‚Worst Oil Spill Ever‘ On Israel’s Coast
Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry made a strange claim on Wednesday and said Iran was behind a major oil spill that hit Israel last month, accusing Tehran of „environmental terrorism.“ But many Israeli officials doubt the claim.
Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel told a press briefing that the Libyan-owned oil tanker Emerald purposely dumped oil into the water off Israel’s coast from February 1st to the 2nd. She said the vessel left Iran before dumping the oil and then sailed to Syria.
Surprisingly, Gamliel’s claim was disputed by Israeli intelligence and military officials. Even officials from Gamliel’s Environmental Protection Ministry doubt that the oil was intentionally dumped.
According to Haaretz, after Gamliel’s press conference, officials at the Environmental Protection Ministry said that „there’s a high probability this isn’t a terror [incident].“
Israel’s Channel 13 reported that Israel’s military establishment „does not share this assessment.“ The network said it was „shocking“ that neither the Mossad intelligence agency nor the Israeli military was involved in Gamliel’s investigation.
To review, this is the worst oil spill to ever impact Israel and Gaza’s Mediterranean coastline:
For the past two weeks, tons of crude oil have washed ashore on Israel and Lebanon’s beaches destroying wildlife and causing ecological damage that could take years to restore, according to environmental experts. But after the minister directly accused Iran of a complex operation to drop the oil offshore, the issue took on a new dimension as fears in Washington ands Europe rose over the possibility of an Israeli response.
An Israeli minister accuses Iran of being behind one of the worst oil spills ever in Israeli waters https://t.co/EkonTmTFYA
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) March 4, 2021
Israeli military and intelligence officials are quick to blame anything they can on Iran.
But the fact that they didn’t jump on Gamliel’s claim shows just how outlandish the accusation is.