Environment ministry says oil spill was ‘either a deliberate leak or a fault’

In a press briefing, Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel and ministry director-general Rani Amir provide further details on the ministry’s claim that the oil spill was “environmental terrorism” linked to Iran.

Gamliel says the “Emerald” tanker, a 19-year-old Libyan ship sailing under the Panama flag and carrying crude oil from Iran to Syria was responsible for the spill.

“We will sue for compensation in the name of all the citizens of Israel for damage to health, nature, flora and fauna,” she says, pointing the finger at the Islamic Republic.

Amir says the ministry believed the aim was to send crude oil illegally from Iran to Syria and maybe other countries.

He says the ship, which has not been in the area for eight years, spent several days around the port of Latakia last month transferring the crude oil to smaller ships.

“We think the leak that affected us was not during the transfer of oil from Emerald to smaller ships but either a deliberate leak, that is to say terror, or a fault,” he says.

After exiting Egyptian waters, it changed its flag from Maltese to Panamiain and turned off its GPS in an effort to cover its tracks, Amir charges.

— with Sue Surkes

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.