‘We monitor distant vessels to prevent attacks on Eilat’

Navy unveils details on how it defends Red Sea coast.

April 8, 2015 00:14
1 minute read.
Israeli Navy Ship Riding the Waves

Israeli Navy Ship Riding the Waves. (photo credit: IDF)

The Israel Navy unveiled on Tuesday details on how it secures the Red Sea coast and Eilat, in honor of Passover and the central role played by the area in the Book of Exodus.

Senior officers from the navy’s Red Sea regional command center said they are prepared for the busy summer period that begins in Eilat just after Passover.

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Threats they must prepare for include hostile vessels that could try to target civilians and tourists, terrorist organizations that have grown in size in places such as the nearby Sinai Peninsula, and the threat of lone attackers, who could try to strike without warning by infiltrating Israeli territorial waters on a motorboat, or through diving.

The regional command center monitors the sea border 24 hours a day with a range of sensors, to enable early detection of incoming threats.

Lt.-Cmdr. Eirad Shtater, commander of the Control Division off the southern coast, said the navy builds a broad picture of its area of operations in the Red Sea.

“We monitor vessels in distant areas to prevent any hostile activity that could occur,” he said.

It is technically easier for hostile vessels to reach the Red Sea coast than the Mediterranean coast, due to the deeper waters in the South, he added.

The navy deploys a range of vessels to secure the region, including Dvora- and Daburclass patrol boats, Shaldag- class patrol boats, and the small, very rapid Tzir’a small patrol boat, which can travel in shallow waters.

Lt.-Cmdr. Steven Gordon, commander of the 915 Continuous Security Company, told the IDF’s official website that naval forces have been undergoing special maneuvers training to prevent infiltrations.

This has included scenarios based on mock attempts to send multiple enemy vessels into Israeli waters simultaneously.

Forces serving in the area also ensure that civilian boats, or swimmers, do not accidentally stray into nearby Jordan or Egypt. The navy holds live fire drills far from the Eilat coast to avoid disturbing tourists.

“The last thing tourists need to worry about is their security.

They can leave that to us,” Gordon said.

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