Lord David Cameron, the UK’s Foreign Secretary and former Prime Minister, has sewed confusion during a discussion of the Israel-Gaza conflict by referring to the re-opening of the Port of Ashdod.
He was speaking to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee at the UK Parliament, chaired by Conservative MP Alicia Kearns.
Cameron made the comments when asked how Israel could improve the delivery of aid into the Gaza Strip. He replied that along with ensuring check-point crossings were open, the Port should re-open.
“I’ve set out, with the Israelis, a whole set of things that could happen, that they could do, which would make a real difference,” Cameron told the Committee on 9 January.
“Look at opening the Port of Ashdod so aid can arrive by sea, go from Ashdod, either into Kerem Shalom or even better go to the Erez crossing,” he added. This was the final idea he listed.
But Ship Technology has seen Automatic Identification System data which suggests ships have been arriving at the Port of Ashdod in recent days.
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The acting CEO of the Port of Ashdod, Eli Bar Yossef, separately told Ship Technology the port is “operating as usual.”
According to data accessed via MarineTraffic, there are currently at least eight commercial ships docked at Ashdod, which have arrived between 31 December 2023 and 11 January 2024.
This included four general cargo vessels, a bulk carrier, a container ship, and a Ro-Ro cargo vessel.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK government was asked for clarification on the Foreign Secretary’s comments but did not respond.