Approaching the Gaza Strip, the vessel was suspected of illegally smuggling weapons to be used by terrorist organizations
Date: 14/06/2012, 5:53 PM Author: Matan Galin
The Israeli Navy captured a Palestinian fishing vessel engaged in illegal smuggling travelling towards the Gaza Strip on Wednesday (June 13). Even though no weapons were discovered on board the ship, but rather spare vehicle parts, it was likely to have been illegally smuggling weapons to be used by terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip- which is why it was captured by Israeli Navy vessel.
Navy forces were called to the Palestinian vessel that was approaching the Gaza Strip. The vessel was engaged in illegal spare vehicle part smuggling in the region. After recognized by Israeli Navy Dvora class fast patrol boat securing the area, the vessel was detained. After the investigation was complete, the smugglers were released to the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing.
The Navy Patrol Squadron, responsible for securing Israel’s southern marine front, carries out short-range operations at the shore in order to prevent additional weapon smuggling. “There was a lot of equipment on board the vessel, which could have easily included weapons,” said commander of the Dvora class patrol boat reconnaissance squadron, Cpt. M. to the IDF (Zahal) Website.
Once a fishing vessel crosses the border and enters waters under Israel’s jurisdiction, it is immediately captured by Israeli Navy forces. “Smuggling takes place regularly,” added Cpt. M. The detained smugglers go through a thorough security inspection of the cargo. If no affiliation with terrorist organizations is recognized, the smugglers are returned to the Gaza Strip in an orderly fashion along with the capture vessels.