Navy Commander Major-General Eliezer Marom accused terror organizations of “making cynical use of Gaza’s fishermen for terror purposes” after security forces found a third explosive device disguised as a barrel on the beach Wednesday.
In a speech at Ashdod port in honor of the inauguration of new vessels the admiral added, “Regular security ships guard the area, and allow Gaza’s fishermen to fish peacefully. I call on them not to cooperate with terror organizations and not to allow them to use these fishing boats for these purposes.”
Marom said the operations of terror organizations, such as setting afloat barrels filled with explosive devices to wash up on Israel’s shores, would harm the fishermen’s livelihood. On Tuesday a senior navy officer said the barrels would bring harm to the Palestinian people as a whole.
The admiral spoke just hours after police sappers had dismantled such a barrel after it washed up on the southern Palmachim beach. Police have launched an investigation and are searching the area.
The barrel had washed up just 13 km (about 8 miles) from the Ashdod beach on which a similar explosive device had appeared on Monday. Police are on high alert, and scanning the beaches regularly for suspicious activity.
An official statement released in Gaza says terror organization have planted eight barrels in the Mediterranean Sea. So far five have been discovered: Two in a mysterious explosion off the Gaza coast over the weekend, two on Monday on beaches in Ashdod and Ashkelon, and one in Palmachim.