An India-bound Israeli cargo ship was reportedly hit by a missile in the Arabian Sea on Thursday (March 25). Israeli media claimed the missile was launched by Iran.
According to the Israeli news outlet Haaretz, the vessel was on its way from Tanzania to India, when it was struck by the missile.
While no personnel on board the ship suffered any injuries, there were minor damages to the vessel and it was able to continue its journey to the city of Mundra on India’s west coast.
As per reports, the Liberian-flagged ship is owned by a private company called XT Management, which is based in the Israeli port city of Haifa.
According to maritime security company Dryad Global, the ship, while en route to Mundra from Dar Es Salaam, came to a halt and drifted for around three hours, before continuing its journey at its original speed.
So far, there has been no official comment made by either the shipping company or the Israeli government.
The news of the possible attack on the vessel comes a month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for an explosion aboard an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman.
The ship, a vehicle-carrier named MV Helios Ray, suffered an explosion on the intervening night of Feb 25 and February 26 after being hit by Iran.
According to a US defense official in Washington, the blast left holes above the waterline in both sides of the hull, with an Israeli official mentioning the involvement of limpet mines in the incident.
Despite there being significant damage to the ship, no casualties were reported in the suspected attack.
“Iran is the greatest enemy of Israel, I am determined to halt it. We are hitting it in the entire region,” said Netanyahu.
Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz had also blamed Tehran for the incident, saying, “Iran is looking to hit Israeli infrastructure and Israeli citizens. The location of the ship in relative close proximity to Iran raises the notion, the assessment, that it is the Iranians.”
However, following the incident, Iran swiftly denied any such involvement.
“We strongly reject this accusation,” Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Tehran.
Later, the country said that Prime Minister Netanyahu held it responsible as he suffered from “an obsession with Iran”.