Israel calls oil spill an act of ‘environmental terrorism’ by Iran

By Yaacov Benmeleh on 3/3/2021
Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel
Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel

(Bloomberg) --An Israeli minister accused Iran of being behind one of the worst oil spills ever in Israeli waters, calling it an act of “environmental terrorism.”

A Libyan ship that sailed from Iran dumped oil into the sea in early February, Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel told reporters on Wednesday. The ship turned off its tracking system to avoid detection while entering Israeli waters, and turned it back on once in Syria a few days after the spill, she said.

Most of Israel’s coastline has been affected by the spill, and the cleanup could take months, according to Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority.

“Iran is waging terrorism by harming our environment,” Gamliel said.

Officials at Iran’s mission to the United Nations didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The accusation adds to tensions between Iran and Israel that have run high for years, which have mainly manifested in cyber attacks, high-profile assassinations and proxy fights in neighboring countries.

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