Gamliel and Netanyahu at polluted beach
Gamliel and Netanyahu at polluted beachKobi Gideon, GPO

Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel identified a Libyan ship which sailed from Iran as the vessel responsible for the massive tar and oil pollution off Israel's coasts and accused the Iranian regime of "environmental terrorism."

"After reducing the number of suspects in the incident, we discovered that it was not just environmental crime - but environmental terrorism. An illegal ship owned by a Libyan company that departed from Iran is responsible for the environmental attack," Gamliel wrote on Twitter.

In a speech on Wednesday, Gamliel said the ship had departed from Iran with its transmitter off, and it was activated only when the ship reached the shores of Syria. "We will demand compensation in the name of all the citizens of Israel for the harm to health, nature, animals and landscape."

Gamliel explained that the ship was "a crude oil tanker called Emerald, Libyan-owned and operated, which illegally carried cargo from Iran to Syria. The ship carries the Panama flag."

"Iran is activating terror through harm to the environment. Our fight for nature and animals should cross borders. Together, we will settle the score with the responsible party for environmental terrorism that committed a crime against humanity," she said.

"We continue to restore the beaches and the animals that were harmed. Together we will be victorious and remove the pollution from our country's shores," Gamliel added.

Her declaration comes after intensive efforts by the naval unit of the environmental protection ministry over the past two weeks to locate the offending vessel.