Israeli Environment Minister Claims Iran Is Behind Oil Spill

Israeli military and intelligence officials do not agree with the claim

Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry made a strange claim on Wednesday and said Iran was behind a major oil spill that hit Israel last month, accusing Tehran Iran of “environmental terrorism.” But many Israeli officials doubt the claim.

Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel told a press briefing that the Libyan-owned oil tanker Emerald purposely dumped oil into the water off Israel’s coast from February 1st to the 2nd. She said the vessel left Iran before dumping the oil and then sailed to Syria.

Surprisingly, Gamliel’s claim was disputed by Israeli intelligence and military officials. Even officials from Gamliel’s Environmental Protection Ministry doubt that the oil was intentionally dumped.

According to Haaretz, after Gamliel’s press conference, officials at the Environmental Protection Ministry said that “there’s a high probability this isn’t a terror [incident].”

Israel’s Channel 13 reported that Israel’s military establishment “does not share this assessment.” The network said it was “shocking” that neither the Mossad intelligence agency nor the Israeli military was involved in Gamliel’s investigation.

Israeli military and intelligence officials are quick to blame anything they can on Iran. The fact that they didn’t jump on Gamliel’s claim shows just how outlandish the accusation is.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.