News Local Defence Minister plays down Israeli research vessel report

Defence Minister plays down Israeli research vessel report

Defence Minister Savvas Angelides on Monday played down reports that Turkish ships had forced an Israeli research vessel to leave Cypriot waters, telling CyBC radio that third parties were trying to create panic as characteristic of hybrid warfare.

And he appealed to the media to be careful in reproducing reports that may cause ‘harm to society’.

Isarli’s Channel 13 reported on Saturday night that Turkish navy ships had intercepted an Israeli research ship in Cypriot waters two weeks ago and drove it away. Quoting senior Israeli officials, it said the ship Bat Galim, of the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research institution, was approached by Turkish vessels while conducting research.

The unnamed senior officials said the vessels radioed the Israeli ship, demanded to know its business in the area — despite not having jurisdiction there — and then ordered it leave. The Israeli ship had no choice but to comply and depart, it added.

Angelides said that on November 18 a Turkish navy ship had asked an Israeli research ship to leave the area within the waters of the Republic of Cyprus, but clarified that this was not ‘a hot incident’.

The captain of the research ship which was operating at the instructions of Ben-Gurion University decided to continue the research elsewhere and informed the Cyprus authorities, the minister added. He also confirmed that a Cypriot scientist from the Cyprus Geological Surveys Department was on board the ship.

Meanwhile, a government source told the Cyprus News Agency said that the Republic of Cyprus had no involvement in the decision of the captain of the Israeli ship leave the specific areas.

The sources said that the ship was in Cyprus’ EEZ on November 18 carrying out research and was warned by a Turkish ship that plots 4 and 5 of Cyprus’ EEZ were “within Turkish EEZ” and that he had to leave.

The captain contacted the Joint Search and Rescue Centre of the Republic of Cyprus which told him he could continue his research as he had permission from the Cypriot authorities but the captain opted not to do so.

The ship continued its research elsewhere in Cyprus’ EEZ until the end of November.

The source told the Cyprus News Agency that the research does not concern Cyprus’ energy programme and there is therefore no reason for further action.

Meanwhile, Turkish news reports said that the ship had been asked to leave  the ‘territorial waters’ of the breakaway north.

Read more


Top Stories

Thirteen new corona virus cases detected out of 2,960 tests

According to the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health 13 new cases of the SARS-CoV-II virus were detected out of a total...

Minor arrested for bank robbery in Strovolos

Police arrested a minor on Friday afternoon in connection to a case of bank robbery committed shortly before 12:00 in Strovolos. The suspect stole approximately...

Yellow alert for extremely high temperatures on Saturday

Mainly fine weather on Saturday with yet another yellow alert for extremely high temperatures in effect from 12:00 to 17:00. Temperatures are expected to rise...

New type biometric ID cards to be released in Cyprus

The Civil Registry and Migration Department announces that on August 17 the new version of the identity cards issued to Cypriot citizens will be...

Larnaca’s Mackenzie Beach reopens

Larnaca's Mackenzie Beach now open to the public as normal. The Municipality of Larnaca announces: "As of today, Friday, August 14, 2020, Mackenzie Beach is now...


Octopus ‘Kathisto’ (or Octopus braised in Wine)

Ingredients: 1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped fine 1 large octopus, about 2kg (cleaned and kept whole) 3/4 cup dry red wine 1/3 cup...

Homemade lemonade

Ingredients: 1 cup lemon juice 1 cup sugar Method: Thoroughly wash the lemons with soap and warm water. Roll each lemon with the palm of your hand, pressing...

‘Striftaria’ mini cheese pies

Ingredients 1 ½ cup milk 2 tbsps. flour 4 tsps. of butter 3 eggs, slightly beaten + 1 extra with 1 tbs. of milk for spreading 1 pack of...

Mini potato canapes baked on salt

Ingredients Serves: 12 1kg small Cypriot potatoes rock salt, as needed 250g salted butter 300ml full fat cremé frâiche 1 pot cod or salmon roe Method Prep:20min › Cook:35min › Ready in:55min Take...