Greece Blocks U.S. Arms to Israel

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Published: Last Updated on

Student Researcher: Curtis Harrison

Faculty Evaluator: Cynthia Boaz

Greece’s opposition accused the ruling conservatives of allowing U.S. arms shipments to Israel via a Greek port for over a year, despite the government’s denials. The U.S. military said it cancelled the shipment of 325 containers of ammunition from the western Greek port of Astakos to a U.S. stockpile in Israel, citing safety concerns at the Israeli port of destination due to the conflict in Gaza. However, the next day a Pentagon Spokesman said the transport had been cancelled at the request of the Greek government. Reports of the shipment had provoked a media outcry in Greece, where Israel’s 18-day-old offensive in Gaza is deeply unpopular. Greece’s opposition PASOK party submitted questions to parliament asking whether U.S. arms shipments to Israel via Astakos, which it said dated back to September 2007, had been approved by the government. PASOK said the alleged shipments were organized by a Greek-based detachment of the U.S. Navy’s military Sealift Command with the permission of Greek authorities. It called for all the related documentation to be made public. Greece’s ruling party New Democracy party has said in recent days it has not allowed supplies to the Israel army to pass through Greece.


“Greek government under fire over U.S. arms to Israel” Daniel Flynn, Andrew Gray, Reuters, 1/13/09