The government has released photo evidence of deadly mortars and advanced weapons, shipped from Iran and intercepted by the Navy before they could reach Gaza via a boat that sailed from a Syrian port. Among the weapons, some of them made in China, were advanced land-to-sea missiles designed to help Hamas sink Israeli navy patrol boats.
The commando unit “13,” the same company that confronted the IHH terrorist Mavi Marmara ship last May 31, boarded the Victory ship Tuesday, located the illegal weapons and escorted the ship to the port of Ashdod.
According to the ship's document, and the account of the crew, the ship initially departed from Latakia port in Syria, and then proceeded to the Port of Mersin in Turkey before sailing towards its destination in Egypt, from which the weapons were to be smuggled through tunnels to Gaza.
The Foreign Ministry pointed out that the shipment of the weapons “constitutes a blatant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1860(2009), which calls upon member states to intensify efforts to ‘prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition’ to…Gaza.” Syria denied any knowledge of the weapons shipment
The government said the transfer of the weapons also violates "U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373, which calls upon all states to refrain from the provision of any form of support to terrorist organizations and to eliminate the supply of weapons to such groups.”
The Foreign Ministry pointed out that Israeli navy soldiers boarded the Victory in self-defense because “the illegal smuggling of arms to the Gaza Strip poses a direct and imminent threat to the safety and security of the State of Israel and its citizens, who continue to find themselves under the unceasing attack of rocket and mortar fire originating from Gaza.”
The freight manifest of the Victoria camouflaged the true nature of the content of the ship's containers, in violation of the relevant provisions of the International Maritime Organization's Conventions and professional standards, the government added.