The Israeli naval vessel Hanit
which was struck by an Iranian C-802 missile off the coast of Beirut three weeks ago, killing four soldiers, returned to sea on Sunday morning.
Navy crews worked around-the-clock to repair the damage and the ship reassumed its combat role in Lebanon.
According to a senior Military Intelligence officer, the C-802 missiles were made in China but upgraded by Iran, which had made improvements to the radar-guided system and delivered it to Hizbullah.
Senior naval officers admitted at the time that they were taken by surprise, claiming that they did not know that Hizbullah possessed such advanced capabilities. The missile has a 100-kilometer range.
Officials also confirmed that the anti-missile detection systems were not operating at the time of the attack.
Rear Admiral Noam Feig, head of Naval Operations, said that the missile had hit the rear of the vessel and had exploded in an area that contained fuel supplies, which started a fire on-board. All crew members worked hard to extinguish the fire before carrying out a head count of sailors.
The count then showed that four soldiers were missing. Shortly thereafter, all four bodies were recovered.
The soliders killed were identified as: Third Petty Officer Tal Amgar, 21, from Ashdod; L.-Rtg. Shai Atias, 19, from Rishon Lezion; Fourth Petty Officer Yaniv Hershkovitz, 21, from Haifa; and First Petty Officer Dov Shtierenshos, 37, from Karmiel.
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