2 explosive devices found in southern beaches
Fishermen in Ashkelon detect suspicious object, call police who show up with reinforcements, closing off city's northern shoreline. Several hours later additional device discovered in Ashdod beach. Police sources claim two devices similar, estimate originated from Gaza Strip
Two explosive devices were found Monday in Israel's southern shoreline in the space of hours. The first device was discovered in the Mediterranean Sea near the Hofit beach in Ashkelon and the other in the Kshatot beach in Ashdod. Police sources claim the devices are similar and originated from the Gaza Strip.
The first device was discovered by a local fisherman who related, "We went out fishing in the morning hours and noticed a battery attached to an oxygen tank with wires and a cellular phone on it. It looked very suspicious. We did what any citizen should do and called the police."
Security forces at the Ashkelon beach (Photo: Tzafrir Abayov)
Reinforced police forces arrived at the scene and closed off Ashkelon's northern shoreline. An adjacent beach was also evacuated and residents of the area were asked to remain in their homes until further notice.
Police sources said there may be other charges ready for detonation in the area and consequently spent hours scanning the beach.
Sappers were working to dismantle the device instead of detonating it, apparently in order to avoid unnecessary alarm. Helicopters were employed to detect any other suspicious objects.
Hours after the device in Ashkelon was found, an additional device was detected in Ashdod's Kshatot beach. Police sources claim the two devices are similar. According to initial estimates, the devices may have been swept away from the Gaza Strip.
The device was discovered by a scout of one of the security companies on behalf of the Ashdod Municipality during a routine patrol. He proceeded to call the police, which started searching for additional devices.
Police have been scanning the entire southern shoreline from Ashdod to Zikim, near the Gaza Strip. Citizens are prohibited from entering the southern beaches for fear of additional devices.