Israel depends on its seaports for trade and much of its other needs like consumer goods and food.
Israel will be compensating for impaired vessels due to the war in Gaza. The government is trying to reduce the risks for ships using the country’s ports, relevant government advisories stated.
Israel has also pledged to annihilate the Hamas Islamist group after the fighters stormed via Israeli towns from Gaza on 7 October, killing about 1,400 individuals and seizing over 220 hostages in what is considered the worst-ever attack on civilians in Israeli history.
The Israeli tax authority mentioned in a statement of 26 October that the compensation would be awarded for “war damages” caused to Israeli or foreign vessels within the economic waters of Israel.
The authority mentioned that the rate of compensation was 100% of the actual damage. This is the difference in the value of the asset before the incident and after it had been impaired.
Israel has encountered some heavy-rocket barrages in the south of the nation, prompting the closure of the Ashkelon port, the terminal closest to Gaza.
Besides, there have been repeated clashes along the northern border.
In a separate 25 October advisory circulated to the worldwide maritime industry and seen by Reuters, the Transport and Road Safety Ministry of Israel said the ports were highly safeguarded and strategic facilities.
The government has already taken measures to lower the risk levels for calling vessels, adding that the Iron Dome air defence system had already proven to be highly effective.
Despite multiple previous conflicts, no damages were sustained to calling vessels, i.e., zero incidents.
War risk insurance premiums have increased about tenfold in recent weeks for vessels calling at the Israeli ports; some vessels have also diverted from the port of Ashdod, about 40 km away from Gaza, to Haifa in the country’s north.
The officials associated with the Port of Ashdod informed Reuters that port operations were impacted.
It is understandable that individuals do not feel safe right now due to the situation, explained Shaul Schneider, the chair of the board of directors of Port of Ashdod.
But they are trying to deal with it. They have been discussing with the importers and the heads of (shipping) firms.
References: The Hindu, Times Of India
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