Navy releases ship seized for weapon search (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ 04/23/12)
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The Israel Navy on Monday released the HS Beethoven, a cargo ship
which was boarded late Sunday evening in search of arms that were
suspected of being smuggled to Gaza.
Naval commandos boarded the ship which was sailing from Beirut to
IDF sources said that the search which lasted over 12 hours came up
empty and that the commandos did not discover arms aboard the ship.
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.
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.
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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