Israeli troops unload Iranian weapons ship

Israeli military forces completed unloading and inspecting the cargo of an Iranian ship captured in the Red Sea carrying weapons bound for Gaza.

The civilian vessel the Klos C arrived in the Eilat port March 8 escorted by Israeli naval vessels. It was hiding medium-range missiles capable of hitting major Israeli cities and other weapons in its commercial cargo.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the capture of the ship at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting on March 9.

“The operation to seize the ship had two goals: Preventing the delivery of deadly weapons to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which would have directly endangered Israel’s citizens, and exposing the true face of Iran, which was behind this weapons shipment,” Netanyahu said.

Iran has accused Israel of faking the raid.

Israeli forces uncovered dozens of advanced Syrian-made rockets hidden on board the cargo vessel registered in Panama during a brief search in the Red Sea last week. The weapons reportedly were loaded in Iran and were scheduled to be unloaded at a port in Sudan, from where they were to be driven on a truck through Egypt to Gaza. — jta