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Gibraltar Slams New 'Incursion' By Spanish Navy

Gibraltar Slams New 'Incursion' By Spanish Navy - Defense News

GIBRALTAR - The Gibraltar government condemned as "provocative and unlawful" an incident on May 3 in which it said a Spanish naval vessel incurred into its territorial waters and then called on commercial ships to leave the area.

Tensions in the disputed waters off the tiny British territory were already high since an incident on April 23 involving Spanish and Gibraltar police vessels.

A British military spokesman in the rocky promontory off southern Spain said the Royal Navy issued two radio warnings to the Spanish patrol boat "Atalaya" to leave after it entered the area the morning of May 3.

The Royal Navy then dispatched a fast inflatable boat followed by a bigger, armed vessel, HMS Scimitar, the spokesman said. He said the Atalaya left about 90 minutes after it arrived.

The Gibraltar government also charged that "the Spanish vessel approached and contacted all merchant shipping on the eastside of the Rock within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and ordered them to raise anchors and to leave since they did not have permission to be in Spanish waters.

"The Gibraltar Port Authority directed all vessels to remain at their anchorage, which they did," it said in a statement.

The Gibraltar government "condemns the provocative and unlawful actions by the Spanish Navy Corvette 'Atalaya' in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters."

There was no immediate comment from Madrid to the charges.

It was the latest in a series of maritime face-offs in the waters off Gibraltar over the last two years.

The most recent occurred on April 23, when Gibraltar police charged one of its boats was damaged in a clash with Spanish police vessels that illegally entered its waters in pursuit of alleged drug traffickers.

Spain's government complained to Britain over that incident, while Spain's Civil Guard police force charged its officers were subjected to "insults and threats" by those on the Gibraltar police boat.

In a similar incident to what happened May 3, a Spanish navy patrol boat entered Gibraltar waters in May 2009 and inspected fishing boats.

Britain claims a strip of three nautical miles (5.5 kilometres) surrounding Gibraltar as its territorial waters. But Spain does not recognize any waters off Gibraltar as belonging to the territory apart from its ports.

Gibraltar, which Madrid ceded to London in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht, has long fuelled tensions between the two countries.

Madrid argues the 6.5-square-kilometre (2.6-square-mile) territory that is home to around 30,000 people should be returned to Spanish sovereignty.

But its people overwhelmingly rejected an Anglo-Spanish proposal for co-sovereignty in a referendum in 2002.

Time for a shot across the bows..
What is called for is a deniable op using the apes as an attack force. Easy enough to train and you'll never get a word of sense out of them if taken prisoner. The Royal Navy would just need to starve the apes a little then convince them that the Spanish ships are ful of boiled sweets and fruit. They can be launched at night using sling shots from the caves on the rock.

Why is it always left up to me to come up with the ideas hey Admiralty? Hmmm?
It's not an original plan, we once discussed ramming an irate troop of rabid baboons up Paul Gadd's arse. The Baboon's weren't a problem, the arguments started over the TV rights.
Good to know the Spanish government have their priorities in order. Should we do something about our 20% unemployment or our dead on its feet economy? Nah **** it, lets go wind up the Brits :)
allegedly they retreat very very fast.
if rounds start splashing in the water round their go fast patrol boat.:)

not that stab jackets would ever do something that naughty.
What a ridiculous little battle that would be, with Scimitar definitely coming off worst...

A rather mediocre patrol boat with GPMG against a slightly bigger ship with a 3" gun. Strongly worded letter would have more effect!

Nah, just encourage the Moroccans to reassert their claim to Ceuta & Melilla see here :- BBC News - Regions and territories: Ceuta, Melilla Quote "Ceuta and Melilla, fragments of Europe on north Africa's Mediterranean coast, came under Spanish control around 500 years ago.
Madrid says the urban enclaves are integral parts of Spain. They are surrounded by Morocco, which views the Spanish presence as anachronistic and claims sovereignty."

Funny how the Spaniards always forget these little anomalies when they go on about Gibraltar!

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