The Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel robot patrol boat. (Elbit Systems) (Elbit Systems)
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The Israeli ship opened fire after the vessel refused to halt; the vessel’s crew swam to Gaza, according to the Israeli military.

By JNS

The Israeli Navy on Saturday night sank a Palestinian vessel sailing towards Gaza from Egypt, the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson Unit said in a statement.

The vessel had entered a restricted sea area off the southern Gaza Strip, in violation of security restrictions, according to the IDF.

Navy sailors ordered the vessel to stop and fired on it after receiving no response, in line with standard operational procedure. Those who had been aboard swam to the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF.

“The supplies on board the vessel were intended for the Hamas terrorist organization,” the military said in a statement.

Kan News reported that the supplies in question were arms destined for Hamas in Gaza and that the vessel sank.

On July 15, the Israeli Air Force conducted two strikes on Hamas weapon production facilities in the Gaza Strip, following two separate rocket attacks in which four rockets were launched at Israeli territory.

One of the targets hit in Gaza was a Hamas military site consisting of an underground complex containing raw materials used for the manufacturing of rockets, the IDF Spokesperson Unit said in a statement at the time.