Israel’s Navy successfully thwarted a smuggling attempt by Palestinians from the Sinai Peninsula into the Gaza Strip.
On Saturday morning, a navy patrol spotted the speeding boat with numerous packages on board heading from the Sinai towards Gaza’s coast and called on it to halt while firing in the air.
The smugglers dumped the cargo overboard and jumped into the water, while the boat stayed its course. The navy fired on the boat and sank it.
An IDF spokesman stated that the IDF prevented the smuggling of unknown materials from Egypt into Gaza. The IDF said it fired warnings shots after the boat, carrying “suspicious cases” according to the military, failed to heed orders to stop. The boat had ventured into a forbidden zone.
Palestinian sources report that four of the smugglers died in the incident.
The head of the fishermen’s union in Gaza, Nizar Ayyash, told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that “Israeli war boats targeted a vessel with several shells, setting it on fire and causing it to sink.” Ayyash said the fate of those on board was not yet known.
Hamas has been facing difficulty acquiring weapons of quality since Egypt established a large buffer zone on its border with Gaza and destroyed the terror group’s smuggling tunnels through the Sinai Peninsula, and has been seeking alternative smuggling routes, including maritime routes.