BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:10 P.M.) – The Turkish Navy reportedly confronted an Israeli research vessel off the coast of Cyprus this month, the National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry confirmed on Saturday, as reported by the Jerusalem Post.
According to the Jerusalem Post, “the Bat Galim, a vessel belonging to the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, had researchers from Ben-Gurion University in the Negev aboard, as well as a Cypriot geologist, who were doing research approved by the Government of Cyprus in Cyprus’ territorial waters.”
While Turkey does not have jurisdiction over the Cypriot waters, they forced the Israeli vessel to sail south of the island-nation after the brief confrontation.
“The incident took place several weeks after Turkey and Libya signed an agreement dividing up authority over the areas of the Mediterranean between their two countries, which ignores Cyprus’ and Greece’s economic rights in the sea, granting them to Turkey,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
The recent agreement between Turkey and Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) has given Ankara the rights to drill off the coast of the North African country.
This has caused a major issue with several regional countries, including Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, and the Benghazi-based government in Libya.