Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Israel Seizes Ship with Iranian Weapons
ISRAEL TODAY reports that Israeli Navy commandos seized a German freighter en route to the Egyptian port of el-Arish on Tuesday. The ship was carrying Iranian-made weapons for Hamas, the Palestinian faction ruling the Gaza Strip.
Elite naval commandos intercepted the Victoria about 200 miles off Israel's Mediterranean coast. According to media reports, the commandos encountered no resistance from the crew, who said they were unaware of the weapons cache on board. The crew planned to unload the cargo at Alexandria's el-Arish port, where the weapons would have been transported by land to the smuggling tunnels near the Rafah border crossing.
The freighter, which set sail from Syria and docked in Turkey, left for Egypt Monday evening under a Liberian flag. A French shipping company was also involved.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the operation. "We had a solid basis that onboard the ship was weaponry destined for use against Israel," the prime minister said in a statement released by his office.
"Considerable weaponry - which was destined for terrorist forces in the heart of Gaza - was found onboard the vessel. The operation was carried out at sea in accordance with all international rules. The weaponry originated in Iran, which is trying to arm the Gaza Strip," he continued.
In the meantime, we talked on the show today about Ireland's pro-Palestinian position with journalist Sean Gannon, direct from Ireland.
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