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Navy releases ship seized for weapon search (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ 04/23/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=267224 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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 Alexandria, Egypt.

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 04/23/12)

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