(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

Security forces last night thwarted an attempt to smuggle weaponry into the Gaza Strip from Egypt via the Mediterranean Sea.

Forces deployed opposite the Palestinian side of Rafah throughout the night to thwart a weaponry smuggling attempt. An IDF Navy force identified two Palestinians swimming towards the Gaza Strip, equipped with diving gear and carrying packages apparently concealing weaponry.

The force first called for the two men to stop and then fired warning shots in the air in an attempt to arrest them. As the force was attempting to arrest the two men, Palestinians opened fire at the boat from the Gaza coastline. The forces opened fire at the two Palestinians, killing one and apparently injuring the second. The packages which the men were attempting to smuggle from Egypt sank.

The Palestinian who was killed is Nizar Yusef Ahmed Prahat, born in 1968 and a resident of Rafah who had been wanted by security forces for weapons smuggling in the past.

IDF Navy officer Col. Yoram Laks said, "The force operating in the area showed an extraordinary level of professionalism. Our cooperation with the Palestinian Authority Police and Egyptian security forces is good and it is improving constantly. Information regarding the incident was transferred to both the Egyptians and the Palestinians."

This incident joins recent attempts to smuggle weaponry through a nautical route into the Gaza Strip. All attempts have been thwarted by IDF Naval forces.