On Wednesday, the IDF published a video from March 12 that showed the IDF boarding a Gaza fishing vessel from Rafah which had sailed beyond the permitted nautical line. The video shows the arrests of 10 men believed to be linked to Palestinian Jihad after armed naval Special Forces boarded the fishing boat. The boat was seized in the Ashdod port and the ten Palestinians were arrested.
Amongst the men brought in for questioning included, Amin Saadi Muhammad Jumma’a, 24, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad who told interrogators that he had received orders from his commanders to prepare to carry out the attack on Israeli Navy ships.
He was also charged with transporting 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of explosives on a fishing boat from Egypt to the Gaza Strip for Hamas, the terrorist organisation, sometime between 2012 and 2013, and for transporting 150 packages of fiberglass from Egypt to Gaza for Hamas to manufacture weapons between 2014 and 2015.
In addition, he was also suspected of smuggling four AK-47 assault rifles and a pistol from Egypt to Gaza through an underground tunnel for Hamas in 2015.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the plot showed “true intentions of the terror groups in Gaza, who are trying to camouflage their murderous plans by organizing provocations along the security fence.”
In addition to the planned naval attack, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad has already carried out at least two other terror acts following Israel’s destruction of an Islamic Jihad tunnel in October. The group fired a barrage of mortar shells at an army base northeast of the Gaza Strip, a month later, causing damage. The group also fired mortar shells at southern Israel, in December, disrupting an event dedicated to an IDF soldier who was killed in the 2014 Gaza war and whose body is currently being held by Hamas.