Israel Seizes Ship with Weapons for Gaza

Tuesday, 15 Mar 2011 02:20 PM

By Hiram Reisner

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The Liberia-flagged cargo ship Victoria was seized Tuesday in the Mediterranean Sea, 200 miles west of Israel, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, quoting an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) statement.

“The various weaponry on board the vessel was intended for the use of terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.

The German-owned ship had left from Turkey's Mersin port and was headed for Egypt's Alexandria port; it originated in Syria. Turkey is not tied to the incident, according to the IDF.

The Navy brought the ship in to Israel's port at Ashdod for further inspection, and there was no resistance from the crew, according to the IDF.

“We had a solid basis that on board the ship was weaponry destined for use against Israel,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“Considerable weaponry, which was destined for terrorist forces in the heart of Gaza, was found on board 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.”

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