U.S. weapons destined for Israel have been blocked from passing through Greece due to opposition protest.
A Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday 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.
“I think the Greek government has some issue with the offloading of some of that shipment in their country and we are finding alternative means of getting that entire shipment to its proper destination in Israel,” said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell.
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.
“Did the foreign ministry and other relevant ministries approve these shipments or was Greek and international law replaced by practices that weaken the sovereignty of this country?” read the PASOK statement.
Greece’s Communist party and a left-wing coalition have called demonstrations at Astakos for Wednesday and Thursday.
PASOK said the alleged shipments were organised 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.