By ARIE EGOZI
Tel Aviv. Senior Israeli officials have for the first time explicitly stated that Iran is behind the explosion in the cargo ship owned by an Israeli businessman. The ship was hit on February 25, but was only reported on February 26.
Israeli sources say that the attack will have to bring “an action from the Israeli side.”
The ship was damaged by an explosion during the cruise in the Gulf of Oman, and although no one was injured – it was forced to go back to Saudi Arabia.
The ship was carrying cars to Singapore from the city of Damam in Saudi Arabia. As a result of the explosion, two holes in about a meter and half in diameter were opened in the side of the ship, but its engine was not damaged. A US security source told Reuters that the blast occurred above the waterline and not below it, and that the holes are on both sides of the ship.
The Israeli defence establishment monitors what is happening and conducts secret discussions on the subject, the main purpose of which is to gather intelligence in order to formulate a situation. As of this morning, it is estimated that the Iranians are responsible for the action.
The cargo ship owned by Israeli businessman Rami Unger was hit during a cruise out of Oman Bay. There were no casualties, but the ship that made its way to Singapore from the city of Damam in Saudi Arabia was damaged – and had to go back to Saudi Arabia.
The ship, MV HELIOS RAY, sails under the Bahamas flag and belongs to the Israeli company Helios Ray Ltd. The company is owned by Rami Unger, one of the largest car importers in Israel.
Israeli sources said that first indications point to an Iranian initiated attack performed by one of its proxies.
The US Fifth Fleet helping in the initial investigation.
The Fifth Fleet is responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.
-The writer is an Israel-based freelance journalist