Israeli Defense Minister Says Attack on Mercer Street Vessel Constitutes 'Escalation'
© REUTERS / POOLIsraeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz adjusts his mask during the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem August 1, 2021.
© REUTERS / POOL
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday that Iran's alleged involvement in the attack on the Mercer Street tanker in the Indian Ocean violated international law and was an act of "escalation."
The Japanese-owned vessel was attacked off the coast of Oman last week, resulting in the deaths of two crew members, citizens of Romania and the United Kingdom. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused Iran of being involved in the attack. Later, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made statements to the same effect.
"The recent attack on Mercer Street, which resulted in the death of two innocent civilians, is a clear violation of international law, is immoral and constitutes an escalation. That is why we must act now against Iran," Gantz told the parliament.
The minister added that "Israel has many tools and options to protect its citizens."
© Photo : Twitter / OrHellerUnconfirmed image of the Mercer Street tanker provided by Or Heller, correspondent for Israel's Channel 10 News
Unconfirmed image of the Mercer Street tanker provided by Or Heller, correspondent for Israel's Channel 10 News
© Photo : Twitter / OrHeller
Iran has denied having any role in the incident. Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh rejected statements by the US and the UK as groundless.