Israel has more concerns about the sea, particularly with its newfound riches offshore which represent soft targets.
By World Israel News Staff
The Israeli Navy identified a “potential threat” on Monday morning, sinking a suspicious vessel near the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces reported.
“Earlier today, IDF naval troops spotted suspicious naval activity in the maritime zone along the Gaza Strip, which posed a potential threat to Israeli Navy vessels,” the IDF said in a statement.
The IDF says the vessel was spotted off the shore near Khan Younis, an Arab city located on the southern end of the Strip near Egypt.
Israel has more to worry about on the sea, particularly with its newfound riches offshore, which need to be defended.
Israel’s Leviathan field began pumping gas in December 2019. Egypt’s petroleum and mineral resources minister will in fact visit the Leviathan rig on Monday. He met with Israel’s prime minister on Sunday in Jerusalem, where it was agreed the countries would build a natural gas pipeline from the Leviathan field to liquified natural gas terminals in northern Egypt.
The IDF gave no indication that the Egyptian minister’s visit and the suspicious vessel were connected.
Over the last few years, Hamas has been developing its maritime capabilities. In 2014, Hamas naval commandos infiltrated an Israeli beach. The five commandos attached an explosive to a bulldozer and threw a grenade at a tank. All were killed by IDF gunfire.
Israel’s Channel 20 reports that the IDF needs 21 assault and defense ships to defend its maritime interests but is far short of that. Including the four new Saar 6 ships to be added by the end of the year, Israel will have only 15 ships.