Two IDF battleships crossed the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea on Tuesday, Arab sources reported Tuesday. The source said the vessels in question were the INS Hanit and INS Eilat torpedo boats.
Several days ago it was reported that an IDF missile boat crossed the canal to the Red Sea to conduct "operational activity." The nature of the operation remained highly secret.
The Israeli Navy has recently increased its activity in the Suez area, in cooperation with the Egyptian authorities that oversee the canal. This sea route significantly shortens distance and travel time to Africa and is crucial for operations in the Red Sea.
Several weeks ago, a Dolphin-class submarine sailed the canal and returned to the Mediterranean a few days later, accompanied by a missile boat. An Israeli defense official said then that Israel has no plan to station submarines in Eilat. "If anything, we are scaling down our naval operations in Eilat," the official said.
Recently Israel's strategic interests in the Red Sea have been increasing recently. According to foreign reports, an Iranian ship carrying weapons was sunk in the Red Sea several month ago off Sudan's shore. According to the reports, over 100 passengers who were involved in arms smuggling to Gaza were killed in the attack.