Two Israeli missile boats reportedly passed through the Suez Canal Thursday morning, according to Arab media reports over the weekend.
Egyptian authorities reportedly adopted strict security measures to ensure the ships' safety. According to the reports, the two Navy ships traveled through the canal en route to the Red Sea.
Israel Navy ship (Archive Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office)
The sources did not provide the exact ultimate destination of the missile boats. However, Egyptian maritime sources quoted in the Arab media estimated that both ships were headed to the Persian Gulf and may reach it within four days. The veracity of these estimates is unclear.
The sail through the Suez Canal was coordinated with Egyptian authorities, which reportedly adopted strict security arrangements to ensure the safe passage of the two Israeli ships. According to Arab media, Egyptian forces prevented any vessels from passing through the Canal and also stopped the vehicular traffic on the road leading to it.
According to the reports, one Israeli missile boat already passed through the Suez Canal in June and July of last year. In one case, the Israeli ship was said to have been accompanied by an Israeli submarine.
Last week, Egyptian newspaper al-Shuruq reported that the US has been holding extensive maneuvers in the Persian Gulf, including some across Iran's shores. The report was based on information provided by senior Egyptian sources.
In addition, the newspaper reported that Israeli vessels have been mapping the Persian Gulf's waters in the past six months in cooperation with American forces belonging to the Fifth Fleet. However, it appears the report regarding Israel was baseless, and that it was leaked in an attempt to gauge Jerusalem's response.