Spain denies port of call to ship carrying arms 'from India' to Israel

Spain has refused permission for a ship carrying arms to Israel to dock at a Spanish port, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares has said. (Photo/X)

Spain has refused permission for a ship carrying arms to Israel to dock at a Spanish port, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares has said. The ship is reportedly loaded with 27 tonnes of explosive material from India and may have avoided entering Israel through Red Sea where Yemen's Houthis hold sway.

"This is the first time we have done this because it is the first time we have detected a ship carrying a shipment of arms to Israel that wants to call at a Spanish port," Albares told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.

"This will be a consistent policy with any ship carrying arms to Israel that wants to call at Spanish ports. The foreign ministry will systematically reject such stopovers for one obvious reason. The Middle East does not need more weapons, it needs more peace," he added.

The Spanish minister did not provide details on the ship but Transport Minister Oscar Puente said it was the Marianne Danica which had requested permission to call at the southeastern port of Cartagena on May 21.

India-Israel arms nexus

El Pais newspaper said the Danish-flagged ship is carrying 27 tonnes of explosive material from Madras [Chennai] in India to the port of Haifa in Israel.

India is largest buyer of Israeli weapons, some of which are used in troubled spots of eastern and central India and disputed Kashmir.

Over the last 10 years, India has reportedly imported $2.9 billion in military equipment from Israel. The sales include combat drones, missiles, radars and other surveillance systems. India and Israel normalised diplomatic ties in 1992 but Tel Aviv's military exports to New Delhi date back to the 1960s.

Israeli arms helped arm India in wars against China and Pakistan. Elbit Systems, one of Israel’s largest military companies, in 2018 agreed to work with Indian conglomerate Adani Group to make Hermes 900 drones at a facility in southern India, which are exported back to Israel for its own use.

Some of these killer drones have reportedly been dispatched by India to Israel in its ongoing invasion of Gaza.

The announcement that permission had been denied comes amid a row between Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's Socialists and his coalition partners, the hard-left Sumar party, over another ship, the Borkum, which is due to dock in Cartagena on Friday.

Pro-Palestine groups say the Borkum is carrying arms to Israel, prompting Sumar to demand that it be turned away. But Puente said the Borkum was transporting military material to the Czech Republic, not Israel.

Spain has been one of Europe's most critical voices about Israel's Gaza offensive and is working to rally other European capitals behind the idea of recognising a Palestinian state. Spain halted arms sales to Israel after it launched a military onslaught against besieged Gaza.

Genocidal war

The Palestinian resistance group Hamas says its October 7 blitz on Israel that surprised its arch-enemy was orchestrated in response to Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque, illegal settler violence in occupied West Bank and to put Palestine question "back on the table."

In an assault of startling breadth, Hamas fighters rolled into as many as 22 locations outside Gaza, including towns and other communities as far as 24 kilometres from the Gaza fence.

In some places they are said to have gunned down many soldiers as Israel's military scrambled to muster response. And upon return to Gaza, they also took along some 240 hostages, including Israeli military personnel and civilians.

Dozens of the captives were later exchanged for Palestinians incarcerating in Israeli dungeons.

Since then, Israel has heavily bombarded Gaza from air, land and sea, killing more than 35,000 Palestinians, mostly children and women, wounding nearly 80,000 and displacing most of 2.4 million people in the tiny coastal enclave.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure that its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in the enclave.


Source: TRT