The Israeli Navy captured a Palestinian fishing vessel engaged in illegal smuggling travelling towards the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. No weapons were discovered on board the ship, only spare vehicle parts, and it was taken to shore by an Israeli Navy Dvora class fast patrol boat.
After the investigation was complete, the smugglers were released to the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing.
The Navy Patrol Squadron, responsible for securing Israel’s southern marine front, carries out short-range operations off the shore to prevent additional weapon smuggling. “There was a lot of equipment on board the vessel, which could have easily included weapons,” said commander of the Dvora class patrol boat reconnaissance squadron, Cpt. M. to the IDF Website.
Once a fishing vessel crosses the border and enters Israel’s jurisdiction, it is immediately captured by Israeli Navy forces. “Smuggling takes place regularly,” said Cpt. M. The detained smugglers go through a thorough security inspection of the cargo. If no affiliation with terrorist organizations is recognized, the smugglers are returned to the Gaza Strip in an orderly fashion along with the capture vessels.