(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

IDF and ISA forces thwarted an additional maritime smuggling attempt earlier today, May 14, along the southern Gaza Strip coastline.

During a patrol in the early morning an IDF naval craft identified a Palestinian boat sailing into the area prohibited for entry in the southern Gaza Strip and crossing the Israeli – Egyptian border into Egyptian territorial waters. The force later identified the boat sailing back across the border to the Gaza Strip. The force called for the boat to stop and fired warning shots and when it refused to stop, the IDF naval vessel apprehended the boat. As it was being chased several bags were thrown from the Palestinian boat into the water.

Several hundred kilograms of military-grade explosives and parts of mines were found on the boat after it was intercepted. The Palestinian men on the boat were taken for questioning by security forces.

A similar attempt of Palestinians to smuggle explosives into the Gaza Strip through the sea was thwarted on May 9th 2006 by an IDF naval force when 500 kg of military – grade explosives concealed in 13 bags were uncovered on that boat.