The Israeli navy has intercepted and seized a container ship it says was carrying rockets destined for Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah group.
The antigua-flagged vessel has been named as the Francop and has been taken to an Israeli port. It is unclear if the crew knew about the munitions. Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai said: “At first glance we saw some Katyusha rockets. And for us that’s enough. And Katyusha rockets, as I mentioned before, are against the population, not against soldiers.” The ship was intercepted in international waters near Cyprus and has been taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod. Authorities have not given details about the quantity of arms found on the ship. Israeli media reports say the military had advance information about the vessel. The largest weapons-smuggling ship intercepted by the Israeli navy was a vessel boarded back in 2002. It carried tons of weapons that Israel said Iran had sent to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.