March 5, 2014 - 16:57 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Israel has intercepted a ship carrying Iranian weapons to Gaza, the country’s defense officials said, according to BBC News.
The Panamanian-flagged vessel was boarded by Israeli special naval forces in the Red Sea on Wednesday, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said.
Israel says it found rockets on board, and that it was now taking the ship back to Israeli shores. There has not yet been any comment on the incident from Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.
IDF officials said the ship was carrying dozens of rockets including the Syrian-made M-302.
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the 17-member crew of the ship appeared to be unaware of their cargo and were not suspects. He said they would be taken back to Israel for questioning.
The ship was boarded in international waters between Sudan and Eritrea, Lerner said.
Israel has accused Iran of arming groups such as Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Almost fifty projectiles were fired towards Israel from the Gaza Strip last year, Israel says.
Hamas denies that it has fired any rockets since a 2012 ceasefire agreement with Israel, and has blamed other groups such as Islamic Jihad.
Israel has in turn launched several air strikes on the Gaza Strip, causing several deaths.