Special IDF Press Conference for Bloggers
March 15, 2011
Background from Jameel: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced minutes ago that the weapons found aboard the "Victoria" -- an IDF intercepted ship bound for Gaza from Syria, originated in Iran.
Early this morning IDF Naval Commandos from boarded a cargo ship, "Victoria" -- a German owned ship, operating by a French Company, flying under a Liberian flag. We had advance intelligence information that this vessel was carrying weapons.
We boarded the ship and the crew complied without any violence. A preliminary search revealed weapons in shipping containers. The Israeli navy is now escorting the boat to Israel where a further, detailed examination of the cargo and the ship will take place.
The ship originated from the Syrian port of Latkia, and also docked in Turkey's Mersin Port on its way to Alexandria in Egypt. The IDF believes the weapons found on board were destined for Hamas in Gaza.
The ship's crew apparently had no idea there were weapons in the shipping containers, and the IDF doesn't believe that Egypt or Turkey were connected.
The current operating analysis is that Syria and Iran are the major actors, cooperating to send weapons to Hamas.
The Victoria was boarded 200 nautical miles west of Israel early Tuesday morning.
The IDF spokesman declined at this point to detail what weapons were found, but we will be find out after the ship's detailed examination.
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