(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)

"The fishing boat that was identified this morning by Israel Navy boats was booby-trapped with hundreds of kilograms of explosives," estimated the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, speaking about the incident that occurred on Monday morning, April 13, 2009, near the Gazan coast.

In the early morning hours, Israel Navy boats had noticed an unmanned boat near the Gazan coast. When the forces were situated a few hundred meters from the fishing boat, a very large explosion occurred on the boat. No damage was caused to the Israeli naval boat.

"We assume that this was an attempt to attack one of the Israel Navy boats, an attempt that fortunately was not successful, thanks to the soldiers correctly implementing the regulations,” said the Chief of the General Staff at the signing of his organ donation card, and added that this kind of threat is not new, as a similar incident happened several years ago. "We are examining all our arrangements, and we will carry on dealing with threats of this kind also in the future.”

When asked about whether this incident disturbs the relative quiet in the area of the Gaza Strip lately, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi confirmed, and also reminded of the incident about one week ago, in which Golani Brigade soldiers encountered a group of terrorists attempting to plant an explosive. "I think that Hamas has been intimidated, and it is not by chance that there is no direct firing,” he pointed out, but clarified, "We know that hostile terror activities or terror attacks along the security fence, by sea or through the Sinai are still taking place, and therefore we examine and adjust our arrangements all the time.”