Urgent call in Morocco to bar suspected ship with Indian weapons for Israel

A container ship passing through the Straits of Gibraltar, which separates Spain and Morocco in front of the coast of Morocco is seen from a ship off the British overseas territory of Gibraltar December 6, 2018. (Photo/Reuters)

An activist group in Morocco has urged the government to block a cargo ship, Vertom Odette, suspected of transporting Indian weapons to Israel from passing through its territorial waters.

Sailing under the flag of Luxembourg, the commercial ship departed from India on April 18 and is set to arrive at the Spanish port of Cartagena on Wednesday, according to the Moroccan Front for Supporting Palestine and Opposing Normalization, the National News reported on Tuesday.

To enter the Mediterranean, ships traveling east from the Atlantic must pass through the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain and Morocco.

In a letter to the government, the group voiced concern that the ship was transporting a shipment of weapons destined for Israel, and urged the government to act rapidly to prevent what it described as the implication of Morocco "in war crimes."

"The aim of this letter is to avoid the involvement of Moroccan authorities, before the eyes of the world and international law, in accusations relating to complicity in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the group said.

It aded: "The International Court of Justice’s recent decision stated that the occupying state must desist and be careful not to commit any act of genocide against the Palestinians. This decision makes every government that supplies Israel with weapons vulnerable to accusation of complicity in this genocide."

Genocidal war

Hundreds of people have also posted online to call on authorities to undertake all necessary measures to bar the Vertom Odette ship from entering Moroccan waters and to make sure that it does not reach Israel.

Many countries across the world witnessed demonstrations that protested Israel's war on Gaza.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on Gaza since October, 2023 despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.

Tel Aviv has killed more than 36,500 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and wounded nearly 83,000 others, according to local health authorities.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge.

India-Israel ties

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.


Source: TRT