Iran has been linked to the recent destructive oil spill off Israel’s shores that caused major ecological damage in an act Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel has declared a deliberate act of “environmental terrorism.”
According to intelligence gathering, the vessel responsible for the devastation is a Libyan-owned “Emerald” pirate ship that set sail from Iran through the Persian Gulf without radio contact.
The crude oil tanker, which flies a Panamanian flag, then passed through the Suez Canal. After entering Israeli waters in the east Mediterranean between the 1st and 2nd of February, the crew again turned off all radios on board for almost a full day while polluting the sea.
“Iran is (conducting) terrorism by damaging the environment, and (when) Iran is damaging the environment it isn’t just hurting the State of Israel,” charged Gamliel, who said that an exhaustive investigation had ruled out any other source.
Over 1,000 tons of tar are estimated to have severely impacted marine life and blackened beachfronts along the Israeli coast. The Nature and Parks Authority declared it to be an ecological disaster that could take years to clean up.
Clumps of sticky black tar have also washed up on the shores of south Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
There was no immediate comment from Iran.
The accusation could further increase heighten already high hostilities Jerusalem and Tehran. Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said Iran was responsible for an explosion overnight 25-26 February aboard the Israeli-owned MV Helios Ray ship in the Gulf of Oman last week, which the Islamic Republic has denied.