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Netanyahu, praises forces Photo: AFP
Netanyahu, praises forces Photo: AFP

PM: Arms ship meant to hurt Israel's cities

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises military for successful operation that led to seizure of arms ship meant for Hezbollah. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin says incident 'reminder of constant struggle against terror – which UN debate on Goldstone Report makes difficult'

Ynet reporters
Published: 11.04.09, 12:56 / Israel News

The State's heads are handing out praise to the IDF following the seizure of an arms ship off the coast of Israel Wednesday.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the IDF, the Navy and the armed forces for their success in foiling the smuggling of weapons to the coast of Cyprus which he said were meant to "harm Israel's cities".


The prime minister made these statements during a cabinet meeting.


In a navy commando mission near Cyprus, some 180 kilometers off the state's coast, Israeli forces seized a ship sailing under the Antiguan flag and led it to the Ashdod Port.


At least five containers holding weapons and ammunition, disguised as a civilian delivery, were found on the ship.


The containers included rockets, small arms, grenades, mortar shells, and missiles. Defense sources believe the cargo was a delivery from Iran bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon.


Following the report of the incident, Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated the forces, who he said prevent the smuggling of arms "to the northern terror scene".


Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin also commented on the incident. After a meeting with the Croatian parliament speaker, Rivlin said the weapons ship "shows once again that the terrorists do not take a moment to rest from efforts to undermine Israel's existence.


"Wherever the weapons were bound for, this is a reminder that we are in the midst of a constant existential struggle. We must not let terror run our lives. Today's session on the Goldstone Report makes it very difficult for us and for nations of the free world to lead this struggle."


Roni Sofer, Hanan Greenberg and Amnon Meranda contributed to this report


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