Senior Navy official says terrorists who put explosive barrels in sea knew they could hurt Palestinians as well
Hanan Greenberg Published: 02.02.10, 19:44 / Israel News
Barrels filled with explosives sent by terror organizations from Gaza are putting Palestinian fishermen in danger, a senior Navy official estimated Tuesday following the discovery of explosive devices off Israel's southern shores.
According to the source, "It's not a coincidence that the incident ended without any injuries. We were prepared and we are still working to thwart such incidents in the future. The Navy is prepared for this matter and has the suitable abilities for this purpose, including observation tools aimed at spotting such devices.
"The terror organizations often use innocent-looking fishing boats in order to carry out attacks, making things very difficult for us. On the one hand, we would like to allow Palestinian fishery, but on the other hand, it’s our duty to thwart attacks. This leads to serious inner conflicts."
The source stressed that even without Israel's involvement, the explosive barrels could have put Gaza fishermen in danger, had they exploded next to them.
"The terror activists who sent the explosive charges into the sea knew in advance that they could also be hurt. Today of all days, when talking about the Goldstone Report and morality, we must look at what the other side is doing," he said.
The source estimated that similar devices may be swept northward and be found along the coastal plane. He noted that cellular activation mechanisms were attached to the barrels, which were meant to target Navy vessels. "The devices did not have any mechanisms for setting them in motion, so it's unclear how those who sent them were supposed to identify a target."
According to the source, the explosive device uncovered in Ashkelon was comprised of explosives weighing 15-20 kilograms (33-45 pounds), which he said "was not primitive, but is also not a technological leap."
He said that following two explosions heard along the Gaza Strip's shores on Friday, the Navy had estimated that they were caused by explosive charges. Following those conclusions, he added, the Navy deployed along the region.