Iran intentionally polluted the Mediterranean Sea and Israel’s shores in an act of ecological terrorism, causing the greatest environmental disaster in Israel’s history, Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said on Wednesday.
Gamliel explained that, following a two-week investigation, the Environmental Protection Ministry found that the ship that leaked the crude oil, called the Emerald, was owned by a Libyan company and sailed from Iran to Syria. It departed Iran, turning off its automatic identification system (AIS) – which transmits its location to other ships in the area. It turned the AIS on as it went through the Suez Canal, and then off again as it approached Israel’s shores.
The ship remained within tens of kilometers of Israel’s shores, within Israel’s economic waters, for nearly a full day, spilling large amounts of oil on February 1-2, with its AIS off.
Then it continued on to Syria, where it turned on its transmitter, and it returned to Iran, turning off its AIS as it passed Israel. It is currently in Iran.
The tar reached Israeli shores on February 17.