Ship owned by Israeli firm hit by explosion in Gulf of Oman

The current assessment in Israel is that the explosion was a targeted attempt against an Israeli-owned ship by Iran.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

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A ship owned by an Israeli firm, the MV HELIOS RAY, was hit by an explosion in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) and a maritime security firm said on Friday.

The current assessment in Israel is that the explosion was a targeted attempt against an Israeli-owned ship by Iran, according to Haaretz.

However, the cause of the explosion remains unclear.

"Investigations are ongoing. Vessel and crew are safe," the UKMTO's advisory notice said, advising vessels in the area to exercise caution.

The incident occurred at 2040 GMT on Thursday, it said, but gave no details about a possible cause.

Maritime security firm Dryad Global said the MV HELIOS RAY was a vehicle carrier owned by Helios Ray Ltd, an Israeli firm registered in the Isle of Man. The ship was en route to Singapore from Dammam in Saudi Arabia.

A spokesman for the Israeli Transportation Ministry said it had no information about an Israeli vessel having been struck in the Gulf.

According to Reuters, the ship was managed by Stamco Ship Management, Refinitiv ship tracking data showed. Stamco Ship Management declined to comment when contacted by phone by the news agency.

"Whilst details regarding the incident remain unclear it remains a realistic possibility that the event was the result of asymmetric activity by Iranian military," Dryad said in a report on the incident.

The US Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said it was aware of the incident and monitoring the situation.

Tensions in the region have been high, particularly since 2018, when US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, but also before that.

In the last few years there have been several close encounters between Iranian and American vessels in the Persian Gulf. The Revolutionary Guard typically patrols the shallower waters of the Persian Gulf and its narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz.

The Islamic Republic has threatened more than once to close the Strait of Hormuz, with the United States warning Iran in response that any attempt to close the strait would be viewed as a "red line" -- grounds for US military action.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)



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