Opinion: 'Tar attack' on Israel may have been ecological terrorism

The Environmental Protection Ministry imposed a gag order on the investigation of the tar pollution of Israel's coasts. The objective of the order was not disclosed, but it is possible that it was intended to prevent public discussion of the thesis that the incident may have been an intentional act of terror 

Photo: Bigstock

At the request of the Environmental Protection Ministry, a gag order was issued on Monday barring publication of details regarding the question of how the tar pollution reached the shores of Israel. Since last week, about 160 kilometers of Israel's coasts have been polluted with tar. The reason: illegal spilling of oil in Israel's territorial waters, several hundred kilometers from the coast. 

Following the incident, the Environmental Protection Ministry, together with the European Maritime Security Agency, launched an investigation. Via satellite images and AIS statistics, the ministry was able to identify about 10 ships as potential suspects, according to the ministry's statements. A report on Twitter, by Israeli journalist Guy Lerer, revealed a possible thesis on the identity of the ship. It appears that following the report, the ministry issued the gag order.          

The order bars the publication of any detail on the investigation and any detail that may identify the suspects, including the names of ships, ports of departure and arrival, the cargo, and the route. Therefore, we will not address those details, but rather the likelihood that the incident was an act of ecological terrorism, as opposed to an unintentional mishap. To avoid any doubt, we have no information from the investigation, and it is the personal assessment of the writer of these lines.          

Well, the claim is based on the premise that the ship, theoretically, could have departed from a certain port, knowing that the weather was going to be stormy (the weather forecast can be found by a simple search on the internet), spilled the oil at a reasonable distance from the Israeli coast, and returned to the port of departure. Israel, as we have written, does not have good intelligence within its economic waters. Otherwise, the identity of the vessel and its owners would have been known to the authorities on the day of the incident. 

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