Jan 27, 2009

Egypt Stops Iranian Ship!

By Dr. David Hocking

by Hana Levi Julian (Arutz Sheva News)

Egypt has so far blocked an Iranian ship from crossing the Suez Canal, where it would then proceed to the Mediterranean Sea and probably on to Gaza. The ship is believed to be carrying a cargo of weaponry for Hamas terrorists. The move has won high marks from Jerusalem and the U.S.

Currently the ship is docked in the Red Sea port outside Suez. “This is a big test for the Egyptians,” said a senior defense source in Jerusalem. “So far the Egyptians have prevented the ship from crossing the Suez, and we hope it will stay that way.”

There are two main smuggling routes in Gaza, according to security sources, one by land and the other by sea. The land route, accessed through smuggling tunnels from Egypt into Gaza, is reached from Somalia and Sudan, and sometimes also from Port Said in the Sinai. The sea route is accessed by ships dropping their wares overboard in waterproof containers, to be picked up by Gaza “fishermen” or divers after the vessels have gone. Gaza fishermen have begun to resume their daily activities in the wake of the IDF’s withdrawal from the region.

The Jewish State is continuing to closely track the freighter’s movements, which Jerusalem believes are aimed at replenishing the depleted arsenal of missiles used by Gaza terrorists against civilians in southern Israel.

The U.S. Navy recently boarded an Iranian ship carrying artillery shells and other ordinance, according to a report from the Pentagon that was conveyed to Jerusalem. There are concerns that Iran will make good on its vow to resupply Hamas with long-range Fajr missiles, which have a 70-kilometer range, capable of reaching Tel Aviv and beyond.

While the U.S. has maintained a firm stance in blocking Iranian attempts to rearm Hamas terrorists in Gaza, President Barack Obama’s administration has also said it hopes to engage in “direct diplomacy” with the Islamic Republic.

However, newly-installed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said that did not mean America would not continue its pressure to relieve Iran of its nuclear ambitions. Rice told reporters Monday that “dialogue and diplomacy must go hand in hand with a very firm message from the United States and the international community that Iran needs to meet its obligations as defined by the Security Council. And its continuing refusal to do so will only cause pressure to increase,” she said.


Egypt Blocks Iranian Ship at Suez Canal - Arutz Sheva News