Photo Credit: IDF
IDF navy commandos from Shayetet 13 take over a ship from Turkey. June 9, 2019

IDF commandos took control of a foreign ship and arrested an illegal passenger who attempted to set fire to the vessel and assaulted the crew, on Sunday.


The IDF stated that a foreign trade ship sailing from Turkey that was docking off Israel’s northern shore sent a message of distress in which it said that a fire was set overnight by a stowaway passenger.

Israeli commandos raided the ship, located and overpowered the suspect, and the Israeli police arrested him and took him ashore. The operation was coordinated with the ship’s captain.

The suspect will be extradited to Turkey and will not be tried in Israel.

Lt. Col. Zohar Cohen, Commander of the 914th division who directed the operation, stated that the Navy “will continue to protect Israel’s trade routes and maritime borders.”

The ship, sailing under a Panamanian flag, was on its way to the Haifa Port before making its way to the Port of Ashdod in the south.

The incident is suspected to be criminal and not terror-related.

The Navy’s elite Shayetet 13, which led the raid on the ship, specializes in maritime hostage rescue and boarding.


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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.