Photo Credit: Brian Burnell
HMS Duncan, Type 45 air-defense destroyer, inbound to Portsmouth Naval Base on June 17 2016

Israeli forces are participating in the US-led naval mission taking place in the Strait of Hormuz, according to Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz.

Speaking on Tuesday at a closed-door session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Katz said Israel is assisting the mission with intelligence and in other, unspecified areas in which Israel has a relative advantage, according to the Hebrew-language Ynet news site.

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The report did not say whether Israel will send naval vessels to participate in the mission, although a report last month by Israel’s Kan public broadcasting network discounted that possibility.

Katz also instructed the Foreign Ministry to work with all relevant parties in Israel and the US government to ensure that Israel is integrated into the Gulf security, according to the report, saying doing this is clearly in the strategic interest of the Jewish State to curb Iran and to strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Gulf states, and takes place with the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Katz also praised the announcement by the UK that Britain would join the US-led effort to create a security mission in the Strait of Hormuz, saying it was of “great importance.”

Germany has refused to participate.

Iran has threatened to disrupt the transfer of oil from other countries in the region through the Strait of Hormuz if its own ships are not allowed to export oil through the Strait of Gibraltar or anywhere else it chooses.

Iran faces severe sanctions imposed on those exports by the United States in response to its violations of the JCPOA nuclear deal, which prompted President Donald Trump to make the decision to withdraw his country from the deal, and resume the sanctions against Iran, more than a year ago.

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