Libya Rejects Entry of Oil Tanker over Previous Visit to Israel

Libya Rejects Entry of Oil Tanker over Previous Visit to Israel
Libya Rejects Entry of Oil Tanker over Previous Visit to Israel

Libya denied entry to an oil tanker that was scheduled to load a shipment from one of its ports, after the ship had made a previous trip to Israel, according to Bloomberg.

The vessel, “Proteus Philippa,” arrived near Mellitah in western Libya two days ago, according to tanker tracking data gathered by Bloomberg.

The ship was supposed to load 600,000 barrels of crude oil, but was asked to leave, because it had previously transported oil to Haifa in Israel.

An official from the company, requesting anonymity, stated that the Mellitah Oil & Gas Company, which operates the station, “did not permit the tanker to enter the port and load after confirming its earlier presence at the Israeli port of Haifa.”

The company requested the vessel to depart, a move confirmed by two other individuals familiar with the matter.

Three ship brokers and one owner explained that a common practice for tankers heading to Israeli ports is to shut down the transponder systems, which inform satellite surveillance systems of their location and destination. This is because several Arab countries do not recognize Israel, and can reject ships that have previously docked there.

The tanker was loaded with crude from Gabon between 8-10 September, and indicated its destination as Haifa on 25 September, when it reached the Mediterranean.

The tanker turned off its transponder on 1 October, as it approached Israel. On 6 October, the transponder resumed operation, with the draft decreasing from 14 meters to 8.5 meters, indicating that the cargo had been discharged.

Last month, the Libyan Parliament urged the government to cease exporting oil and gas to countries supporting the Israeli occupation, amid the ongoing aggression in Gaza.

In an official statement, the Parliament firmly expressed its rejection of Palestinian displacement, emphasising the “imperative need for an immediate halt to the aggression,” which it referred to as a “genocidal campaign by Zionist gangs.”

The Libyan Parliament also criticised the visits by the leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and France to the “Zionist entity.” It regarded these visits as “declarations of their full support for the eradication of the Palestinian people, and their legitimate right to resist and establish an independent state.”