Three Greenpeace Activists Arrested After Commandeering African Coal Ship

Two Israelis and a German were trying to stop freighter from bringing cargo intended for new coal-fired power plant.

Three Greenpeace activists were arrested on Thursday after they commandeered a South African coal freighter en route to the Hadera port in protest over Israel's plans to construct a new coal-fired power plant.

Two Israelis and a German managed to climb onto a ship by ladder after approaching in a raft sponsored by the Rainbow Warriors group.


An Israel Navy boat met up with the ship and arrested the activists a few hours later. Maritime law prohibits any ship from entering a state's naval territory with unidentified passengers on board.

Activists have been involved in a number of protests in recent years over the construction of the two additional coal-powered electric facilities.

Environmental groups and the Environmental Protection Ministry contend the proposed electricity plants will increase air pollution and lessen Israel's ability to meet its international obligation to reduce greenhouse gases.

State authorities have required that the new Ashkelon power plants install equipment to prevent air pollution, but that does not block the emission of greenhouse gases.