Israeli navy captures Iranian missiles bound for Gaza

By Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency, March 5, 2014

Early this morning, Israeli naval commandos boarded a cargo ship carrying weapons off the coast of Sudan in the Red Sea, preventing an attempt to smuggle an Iranian shipment of advanced weaponry intended for terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip.

The ship was flying a Panama flag, but was thought to be Iranian. The weapons originated from Syria, from where they were flown to Iran, and from there shipped out to Sudan, ultimately destined for the Gaza Strip.

The weapons were disguised as sacks of cement. The IDF said that the shipment was clearly an Iranian operation. The ship initially tried to sail away towards Iraq.

The ship was carrying long range missiles, including M-302 missiles which have a 200km range, as well as numerous other advanced weapons.

Chief of Staff Benny Gantz personally commanded the operation together with Naval Commander Ram Rotenberg.

An IDF spokesman announced that a military personnel and crew members were all in good shape and that the ship was now on its way to Eilat.

IDF Spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner said: “The IDF will continue to operate against the Iranian attempts to arm regional terrorist organisations, who intend to continuously ignite our borders.

"We will continue to employ all the necessary means in order to prevent the armament of terrorist organizations and will combat the Iranian smuggling attempts that threaten the security and sovereignty of Israel.”

Last updated: 12:43pm, March 5 2014