The Israel Navy completed a drill early on Thursday morning simulating an ISIS takeover of a civilian ship and a raid to free the vessel.
A senior naval source said the exercise was aimed at “improving our readiness against terrorist organizations,” adding that navy-wide drills of this nature occur once or twice a year in different maritime arenas.
The mock attack began with antitank and rocket fire, followed by the hijacking of a ship by “terrorists” who came from Sinai.
In light of heightened ISIS activities in the peninsula, which included the downing of a passenger airline, and attacks on Egyptian security forces, the navy chose the Red Sea as the location for the latest drill.
The navy practiced attempting to negotiate with the hijackers, concentrating forces around the captive vessel, and then carrying out a raid to free it.
The exercise was led by the Shayetet (Flotilla) 13 naval commando unit, and included the IDF Southern Command, the 80th “Edom” Division, the Eilat Municipality, the Israel Police and the Border Police.
“They practiced responding to simultaneous attacks, involving [cross-border] intrusions [by terrorists], an attempt to attack civilians and attacks on naval vessels, and at the end, practicing a counterterrorism raid on a civilian ship held hostage by terrorists,” the source said.
The drill saw multiple commando raids on a mock civilian ship taken that was being “held hostage.”
The large-scale branch-wide exercise was aimed at testing the speed of responses, and inter-branch and inter-organizational cooperation, the source added.