Dutch say 'no way' their ship behind YES disruptions

Defense Minister's office unwilling to issue clarification; says it's "unfamiliar" with new findings.

Amsterdam ship 298.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Amsterdam ship 298.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A technical inspection by The Netherlands has concluded that its missile ships were not responsible for the recent disruptions to Israeli satellite television YES, as alleged by Israel earlier this month, The Jerusalem Post has learned. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Dutch defense officials categorically rejected claims floated two weeks ago by Israel that one of their missile ships that is part of the UNIFIL maritime taskforce which patrols the Lebanese coast - HNLMS De Ruyter - was behind the month-long disruptions experienced by YES subscribers. According to the officials, last week, the De Ruyter docked in Greece for routine missile inspections and at the same time underwent a thorough systems check to see if it was the real source behind the disruptions to YES. "Our checks showed that we were 100 percent not responsible," a senior official from the Netherlands told the Post, adding that Holland expected the Israeli Defense Ministry to issue a clarification concerning their earlier accusatory comment. Despite the Dutch claims, Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office said it was "unfamiliar" with the new findings and as a result was unwilling to issue a clarification. Dutch officials said they were surprised by the response since the Netherlands had immediately transferred the new findings to Barak's office. Clients of YES, Israel's primary satellite television provider, started suffering from frozen and fuzzy images ever since Israel's mysterious airstrike on what foreign media reports claim was a nuclear reactor in northern Syria on September 6. The company was unable to locate the source of the disturbance and Defense Minister Ehud Barak agreed to step in and assist in locating the cause. Two weeks ago, Israeli defense and diplomatic officials announced that they had discovered that the source for the disturbance was a Dutch UNIFIL ship. They said that had a few hours after the attack, the Dutch navy vessel moved into position and began deploying its radar to obtain as much information as possible about the military events of that night in northern Syria. The Dutch defense official said that his country was surprised by the initial accusations but that despite the discontent there was no intention to pull out of UNIFIL. "We agreed to become part of UNIFIL with the basic goal of defending Israel," he said. "We should have received better and more fair treatment throughout this affair."