Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Found: Weapons for Gazans on Iranian Ship Off Israel's Coast
Nadene Goldfoot
Israel took over the ship,  Victoria, originating in Iran some 200 nautical miles off of Israel's coast that was bound for Gaza.  It was connected to the Iranian ship that went through the Suez Canal a few weeks ago.  They found about  50 tons of weapons on board.  Chinese-made C-704 anti-ship missiles were found which would have threatened Israeli installations and navy vessels.  The Iranian ships had docked in Syria two weeks ago and then containers were loaded with these weapons.  Many 60 and 120 mm mortar shells were also found. 

A Farsi (Iranian) language manual for the missiles was in the cargo, linking Iran to the arms smuggling.  Though Egypt and Turkey were destinations, Israel feels they didn't know about the weapons, but that the recent two ships that went through the Suez Canal were connected. 

Rear Admiral Rani Ben Yehuda of Israel said it's important to inspect ships in accordance with international law.  This attempt to smuggle arms shows the need for inspections. 

In our newspaper carrying the story from Washington Post-Bloomberg-the reporter had to interject the wording of "what officials alleged was a ship carrying Iranian weapons".  I guess the fact that they did find such weapons and took pictures of them is not good enough for their readers. 

Next to the article was another with a picture about the Gazan Palestinians who are Hamas supporters in a rally calling for the melding of the two Palestinian groups, Hamas and Fatah.  Thousands were calling out to their leaders to end their feud.  That's quite scary to me as Hamas is overtly violent and is calling for the destruction of Israel.  Their charter doesn't allow any acceptance of Israel.  I wonder if they are feeling emboldened after the massacre of the Fogal family in Itamar, now.  It took two attemps for Abbas to make a public statement about that not being an acceptable act while Hamas, feeling such a bloody act was justified, was celebrating it with candy and rejoicing. 

Oregonian Newspaper p. A4: Israeli says weapons carrier seized

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