Despite Palestinian claims that the four al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades men who were killed by an Israel Navy force on Monday in waters near Gaza were not terrorists, a senior Navy officer said they were planning to carry out a terror attack deep in Israeli territory.
The officer said the terrorists, who were wearing diving suits, also carried weapons on them.
The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military wing, reported that four of the group's men were killed in the incident and that a fifth man, who was lightly injured, was missing.
The Navy officer said one of the terrorists was in a small boat, while the others were swimming beside him a few hundred meters from the beach, in what appeared to be a well-planned operation. "The commandos, who acted with professionalism and determination, spotted the cell and fired accurately. We are currently investigating the incident, but we have already determined that the cell planned to carry out an attack in Israel," he said.
Security officials said the incident is just another example of the efforts by armed Palestinian organizations to seek alternative ways to attack Israel's home front due to the tight security along the Israel-Gaza border fence.
A few months ago a number of explosives-laden barrels, which originated from Gaza, washed up on Israel's beaches. The barrels were neutralized by sappers and caused no injury or damage.