Palestinians stand atop a boat at Gaza's seaport in Gaza City October 16.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Israel Navy fired rubber bullets at a Palestinian boat that strayed from the 6-km. fishing zone off the Gazan coast on Wednesday morning.
The shots were fired after those on board the vessel ignored warning shots by the navy into the air and sea, an IDF spokeswoman said.
One Palestinian on board the boat was lightly injured. All on board were towed to Ashdod port and taken into custody for questioning. The injured Palestinian received medical treatment, the spokeswoman added.
The spokeswoman said she was not aware that any suspicious material was found on board the boat.
Earlier this month, Cmdr. Eli Soholitski, the outgoing commander of the navy’s Squadron 916, which is responsible for defending the sector stretching from Ashdod to the Gaza Strip, told The Jerusalem Post there had been multiple attempts to smuggle weapons-manufacturing material into Gaza since the end of the war in August.
The squadron is made up primarily of Super Dvora Mk III and Shaldag-class fast-patrol boasts.
Soholitski said Hamas fires rockets into the sea every few days as part of its weapons-upgrade program. The launches are used by Hamas arms designers to experiment with various projectile models and are closely monitored by the navy.
“We continue to see attempts to smuggle weapons or material to build them. The sea is a very convenient platform for smuggling.
The terrorists still have one big smuggling tunnel and it’s called the Mediterranean,” he said.