Israel captured a ship with weapons from Turkey
Israel intercepted a ship carrying a large delivery of arms off the country’s Mediterranean coast on Tuesday, saying the shipment included sophisticated weaponry sent by Iran and Syria for Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Navy intercepted a ship sailing from Turkey to Egypt carrying a large delivery of weapons off the countrie’s in the Mediterranean
According to the representative of the Navy Command, the seizure was made at 200 nautical miles off the coast of Israel (370 kilometers), followed by “Victoria” was towed to Ashdod. During the operation no one was hurt.
Initially the vessel sailed from the Syrian port of Latakia, where it arrived to Mersin, Turkey, and from there departed for the Egyptian Al-Arish. According to documents, “Victoria” is owned by German company, it manages the French operator, and the ship goes under the Liberian flag. Israeli Foreign Ministry has notified all of these countries about what happened.
In this case, the nationality of the crew “Victoria” is not reported.
The Israeli authorities were quick to say that the Turkish vessel has no bearing. In 2010, relations between Ankara and Jerusalem have been spoiled because of the Israeli military seizure of the Turkish cargo ship Mavi Marmara, who went to Gaza with humanitarian cargo. Then, during clashes with Israeli special forces sailors killed nine people.
This time the cargo on the ship was not humanitarian. During a search on “Victoria” found 50 tons of rockets, mortar shells and machine guns and ammunition for them. According to the Israelis, all this weapons meant for Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
Israelis previously conducted such operations away from their country, explaining such actions necessary to protect its citizens from terrorists.
The IDF Spokesman stated Tuesday that as far as they know Turkey is not involved with the arms vessel captured 200 miles west of the Israeli coast, in spite of the fact that the ship sailed from a Turkish port. It is believed that the weapons found on the ship were intended for Gaza.
The Israeli Navy took control of the ship without any resistance from the ship’s crew. The ship is being towed to the Ashdod port. (Ynet)
Israel announcement that Turkey was not involved in the arms shipment appeared to be an effort to defuse any potential tensions with its former Mideast ally.
Last May, Israeli commandoes raided a Turkish ship trying to break a naval blockade of Gaza and killed nine pro-Palestinian activists on board. Each side claims it acted in self-defense.
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- Israeli Navy Intercepts Egypt-Bound Ship With Arms – ABC News (news.google.com)
- Israel seizes ship with tons of weapons near Gaza (thejc.com)
- IDF seizes weapons ship from Iran to Gaza via Turkey, Egypt (elderofziyon.blogspot.com)
- Israel intercepts ‘weapons ship’ (bbc.co.uk)