Israel accused the Islamic Republic of Iran, its sworn enemy, on Wednesday March 3, of having committed an "
" after an oil spill off its coast in the Mediterranean caused, according to it, by a boat from Iran.
A pirate ship flying the Libyan flag which left Iran is responsible for this environmental attack
Minister Gila Gamliel said at a press conference.
According to her, the ship "
approached the exclusive economic zone of Israel
" to "
pollute in a deliberate way
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Iran is carrying out terrorist activities not only (by seeking to acquire) nuclear weapons and by their establishment near our borders, but also by launching environmental attacks
", added the minister, adding that approximately 35 vessels had been investigated before reaching this conclusion.
Despite its denials, Iran is accused by Israel of seeking to acquire atomic weapons.
On Sunday, Gila Gamliel said that her country would not "
go unpunished for this environmental crime
" and the authorities had cleared a suspected Greek oil tanker from all suspicion, as well as a dozen other ships.
Tens to hundreds of tons
" of bitumen spilled
In mid-February, strong winds and unusually high waves shook the coasts, causing tons of tar to be spilled on the beaches from the Rosh Hanikra region in northern Israel, near Lebanon, to Ashkelon. , in the south, on the edge of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
According to the Ministry of the Environment, "
tens to hundreds of tonnes
" of bitumen were spilled, which was one of the largest oil spills on the Israeli Mediterranean coast.
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Teams of the army, civilians and members of NGOs scoured the coast of Israel to clean up the beaches.
A whale - a fin whale, the second largest species in the world after the blue whale - nearly 17 meters long, was discovered on a beach near Ashkelon.
The ecological drama spread to southern Lebanon, where tar was visible along the coastline from the border town of Naqoura to Tire, further north.
This area, one of the most unspoiled on the Lebanese coast, is home to many sandy beaches and is considered a hotbed of sea turtles.
Amid continuing tensions between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused Tehran of being behind an explosion on an Israeli ship in the Arabian Sea at the end of February.
It is clear that this is an Iranian act.
As for my response, you know my policy.
Iran is Israel's greatest enemy and I am determined to stop it.
We are hitting it all over the region,
Tehran has rejected these accusations.
If Israel "
wants to use this accusation as a basis to create new tensions, we will monitor them and follow them closely,
" the Iranian foreign ministry warned.
If something happens, we will respond to it at the appropriate time