IDF seizes Gaza-bound arms vessel - Israel News, Ynetnews
 
ynetnews
web


   Israel News

Israel News
World News
Israel Opinion
Jewish
Israel Business
Israel Culture
Israel Travel
Weapons Transport

'Victoria' off Israel's coast
'Victoria' off Israel's coast 
 
Netanyahu. Authorized the Navy operation Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO
Netanyahu. Authorized the Navy operation Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO
 
Arms found on 'Victoria' Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Arms found on 'Victoria' Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
 
More weapons found on ship Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
More weapons found on ship Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
 
 

IDF seizes Gaza-bound arms vessel

(Video) Army says German ship 'Victoria' transported weapons intended for Gaza terror groups. Ship left Syria, docked in Turkey en route to Egypt. Shayetet 13 combatants seize vessel 200 miles off Israel's coast. PM says weapons, including anti-ship missiles, originated in Iran, while Barak claims seizure proves necessity of naval blockade on Strip; army says four shore-to-sea missiles found

Ron Ben-Yishai
Latest Update: 03.15.11, 19:27 / Israel News

VIDEO - Navy soldiers seized a German merchant vessel chartered by a French company transporting weapons from Syria to Gaza 200 miles west off Israel's coast on Tuesday. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the "Victoria" ship sailed under the Liberian flag and was carrying various types of weapons.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed his finger at Iran claiming it provided the Gaza-bound weapons.

  

צילום: דובר צה"ל

סגורסגור

שליחה לחבר

 הקלידו את הקוד המוצג
תמונה חדשה

שלח
הסרטון נשלח לחברך

סגורסגור

הטמעת הסרטון באתר שלך

 קוד להטמעה:

Takeover of 'Victoria' (Video: IDF)

 

The prime minister noted he authorized the Navy operation on Monday night. "We had reason to assume the ship carried weapons meant to hurt Israeli citizens. The source of the weapons is Iran," he said. Netanyahu further added, "The takeover was carried out mid sea in accordance with international law. The ship is being escorted to Ashdod."

 


Weapons found on 'Victoria' (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

 

The IDF's Spokesperson's Unit said that the takeover was carried out swiftly and did not meet any resistance. The ship was later escorted back to the Israeli shore by Navy vessels for more scans.

 

In addition to weapons, soldiers who boarded the "Victoria" also found a radar used to detect ships prior to the launching of anti-ship missiles. 

 

The army said at least four anti-ship missiles with a range of 35 kilometers (about 22 miles) were found on the vessel. Deputy Navy Commander Rear Admiral Rani Ben-Yehuda said the C-704 missiles would have threatened Israeli sea-based strategic installations and navy vessels.

 

During the Second Lebanon War, a Chinese-made C-802 missile struck the INS Hanit off the coast of Beirut, killing four Israeli sailors.

  

צילום: דובר צה"ל

סגורסגור

שליחה לחבר

 הקלידו את הקוד המוצג
תמונה חדשה

שלח
הסרטון נשלח לחברך

סגורסגור

הטמעת הסרטון באתר שלך

 קוד להטמעה:

Army officer contacts 'Victoria' vessel (Video: IDF)

 

A preliminary probe suggests the ship's crew was not aware of the weapons concealed on board the vessel.

 

On its way from Syria to Alexandria, Egypt the ship docked at Turkey's Mersin Port. It is estimated that the weapons on board were intended for terror groups operating in the Gaza Strip.

 

Turkey was in no way connected to the ship as far as the IDF is aware. The seizure of the vessel was authorized by the government.


Israel tracked vessel thanks to accurate intelligence

 

Security officials tracked the vessel for several days, possibly weeks. It is estimated the weapons were meant to pass Rafah's tunnels en route to Gaza thus avoiding the naval blockade.

  

צילום: דובר צה"ל

סגורסגור

שליחה לחבר

 הקלידו את הקוד המוצג
תמונה חדשה

שלח
הסרטון נשלח לחברך

סגורסגור

הטמעת הסרטון באתר שלך

 קוד להטמעה:

Shayetet 13 seizes 'Victoria' (Video: IDF)

 

Netanyahu authorized the Navy operation Monday night and was briefed on the developments on Tuesday. The PM told a conference in Eilat Tuesday afternoon that "Iran sends weapons to terrorist organizations in Gaza that would target the heads of our children. It is our right and duty to take action. We will unload the equipment and show it to the world, a world that rushes to blame Israel, which is struggling for the lives of its citizens.

 

"It is important for the world to see what we are up against, against what people we exercise our right for self defense," he said.  

  

Earlier on Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz informed Defense Minister Ehud Barak of the weapons found on the ship. The IDF and the Foreign Ministry informed German authorities of the arrest as the ship belongs to a German company as well as the government of Liberia.

 

"Efforts to smuggle weapons into Gaza show that radical elements continue their attempts to hurt Israel and destabilize the region," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said. "The IDF and security forces will continue working resolutely to defend the country."

 

Shayetet 13 troops performed the takeover. 

 

Later Tuesday, Barak said the "Victoria" was a rather large vessel owned by a Lebanese citizen. He said the crew "did not know it was carrying weapons intended for terror groups in Gaza."

 

Speaking at the Command and General Staff College in Glilot, the defense minister said the security establishment estimates that the ship carried weapons and equipment that constitute "the beginning of an advanced system that could have affected our operational freedom off Gaza's coastline had they reached (the Strip). That is why this interception was so important."

 

The defense minister was apparently referring to the radar.

 

Barak said the operation "proves the importance of the naval blockade on Gaza and the radical axis. We don’t know what Syria and Hezbollah's roles (in the attempted arms transfer) were; we will find out in the coming days."

 

Yoav Zitun and Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report

 

 

First Published: 03.15.11, 12:50

 

commentcomment   PrintPrint  Send to friendSend to friend   
Tag with Del.icio.us Bookmark to del.icio.us



 
137 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks
Please wait for the talkbacks to load

 

RSS RSS | About | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of use | Advertise with us | Site Map

Site developed by  YIT Advanced Technology Solutions

 
פיקוד העורף התרעה במרחב:
    רשימת יישובים במרחב