Israeli Navy Redirects Lebanese Ship

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CBNNews.com - ASHDOD, Israel - The Israeli Navy prevented a Lebanese ship from reaching Gaza on Thursday, redirecting it to the Ashdod port.

While Arab journalists claim that the navy fired at the ship three times, which was quickly posted by other news agencies, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) denied the allegations.

"The actions of the boat crew raised suspicion, as it could threaten security concerns or furthermore, the boat could be used for smuggling banned equipment [weaponry, etc.] into or out of the Gaza Strip," an IDF statement read.

"As a result of the actions taken by the boat crew, an Israel Navy force intercepted, boarded and took control of the cargo boat, directing it toward Ashdod. No gunshots were fired on board during the boarding and capturing of the boat," the statement read.

Israel Police will question the crew members and any humanitarian goods on board would be transferred to the Gaza Strip.

"The navy boarded a small vessel making its way to Gaza from Tripoli, despite the sea embargo," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

"The crew told us they understood they could not enter the waters and that they would be turning back to the [Egyptian] el-Arish port," he said.

"Once in Egyptian waters, the ship tried to 'crawl' back to Gaza waters, at which point the navy stopped it," Barak said.

Sources: Haaretz, YNet news

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