Palestinian Arab sources claimed a boat destined for Gaza last week was carrying cigarettes, but the Israeli navy knew better and exposed the weapons.
The Israeli Navy has uploaded a video to the IDF website that shows how it had foiled an attempt to smuggle explosives into Gaza from Egypt last week.
Palestinian Arab sources said the boat was merely smuggling cigarettes and other tobacco products. However, the Israeli navy, upon detecting suspicious Palestinian vessels speeding towards the Gaza Strip, opened fire – setting off secondary explosions that revealed the boats were carrying explosives and ammunition.
In the video, Israeli navy vessels are seen tracking two fishing boats that had originally set off from Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula and were in the process of sneaking weapons back into the Strip.
Terrorists Ignored Repeated Warnings from Israeli Navy
The exposed gun runners ignored repeated calls from the navy to halt, after which the IDF fired in the direction of the weapons-laden boats.
“Our forces ordered them to cease in their attempt to infiltrate, according to protocol, but the warning was ignored,” said Lt. Col. A., commander of the ships. “My soldiers then fired warning shots, but once again, the enemy ships continued on their way. We therefore used force to neutralize vessels, which represented an imminent threat.”
In response, the smugglers returned fire. No injuries were reported. None of the suspects were killed in the blasts and the wounded were evacuated to a hospital in Rafah in southern Israel.
The Israeli navy is continuously present along the Gaza coast and is regularly confronted with infiltration attempts.
In 2006, Israel imposed a maritime blockade on the area, which is controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization.
Fishing is an important source of income for residents of the Gaza Strip, the IDF blog explains, adding that Gazan fishermen are allowed to fish within a radius of 10 km. from the coast. This permission, however, is regularly exploited by terrorists.
“The way we acted demonstrated the values of the IDF, which seeks by all means to neutralize terrorist threats against the citizens of Israel, while minimizing the involvement of Gaza civilians in its operations,” Lt. Col. A. said. “The soldiers who served during this event acted professionally and used all the technology available to them to ensure accuracy and complete this operation successfully.”
Wednesday’s incident marks yet another maritime clash between Hamas and the Jewish state. Two weeks ago, the Israeli navy conducted a raid on the Klos C ship in the Red Sea two weeks ago that was carrying massive Iranian weapons to Gaza.
Author: Gidon Ben-Zvi, contributor, United with Israel
Date: Mar. 30, 2014