IDF boards ship allegedly smuggling arms to Gaza (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ 04/23/12)
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Commandos from the navyís Flotilla 13 unit boarded a cargo ship, the
HS Beethoven, in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday night on suspicion
it was trying to smuggle weapons to the Gaza Strip.
The ship, which was flying a Liberian flag, was intercepted by Israel
Navy vessels approximately 260 km. from Israelís coast. Commandos
boarded the ship with the captainís consent and began searching cargo
containers for arms.
IDF officers said that searches aboard the ship could continue until
The IDF said that the operation was part of a routine patrol and that
the shipís route was likely what raised concern that it may have been
carrying weapons for either Hamas or Islamic Jihad in Gaza.
The HS Beethoven left Beirut on Friday and was scheduled to arrive in
Alexandria, Egypt, on Monday evening. Before stopping in Lebanon, it
had stopped in Limassol, Cyprus. If the ship was carrying arms, they
were likely meant to be smuggled into Gaza via tunnels located under
the Philadelphi Corridor between Sinai and Gaza.
Last March, the navy intercepted a cargo ship called Victoria that
was carrying some 50 tons of weaponry and was on its way to Egypt. It
was also flying a Liberian flag and was headed to Alexandria.
The weapons seized on the Victoria included a number of sophisticated
radar-guided Iranian anti-ship missiles that were intended for
terrorist organizations in Gaza. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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