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Israel says missile struck Israeli ship, points to Iran

The cargo ship was heading to India from Tanzania when it was struck by a missile, Channel 12 News reported.

Iran fired a missile at an Israeli container ship in the Arabian Sea, an Israeli news reported Thursday. 

According to Channel 12 News, the cargo vessel, which was en route to India from Tanzania, continued its voyage after the attack and its crew will assess the damage upon reaching the final destination. It’s not clear from the report when the attack occurred.

Channel 12 said the strike was reported to the Israeli Ministry of Defense, which informed the ship’s owner, the Haifa-based XT Management. 

Just last month, Israel blamed its longtime adversary Iran for an attack on another vessel. A mysterious blast damaged the Israeli-owned Helios Ray in the Gulf of Oman from what the Bahamian-flagged ship’s owner said was likely a missile or mines. 

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told public broadcaster KAN that Iran was “attempting to damage Israeli infrastructure and to hurt Israeli citizens.” Tehran denied responsibility. 

The Wall Street Journal reported this month that Israel has struck at least a dozen Iranian vessels carrying oil to Syria since late 2009. A follow-up investigation by Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed there were several dozens of attacks on Iranian oil tankers that have caused Iran cumulative damage in the billions of dollars. 

Both Israel and the United States were suspected of involvement in a series of unexplained explosions last summer targeting civilian and military sites across Iran. Analysts also attributed the November assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh to Israel, a claim Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not deny when asked.  

The alleged incident in the Arabian Sea comes at a time of increased tensions over Iran’s nuclear activities. US President Joe Biden hopes to return the United States to the nuclear accord, which places limits on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. Tehran wants the sanctions lifted and is insisting Washington make the first move to rejoin the agreement.

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