Israel is well known for their maritime raiding capabilities, a common tactic used to interdict cargo, or personnel, aboard ships that the Mossad deems as a threat to the homeland, sometimes to a controversial degree. Yet there is little controversy about the validity of the Israeli Navy's mission yesterday, one that literally nabbed a boatful of deadly rockets.
A team of maritime commandos raided the Panamanian flagged "Klos-C" about half way up the Red Sea. These commandoes were supported by the new Sa'ar (tempest in English) 5 and Sa'ar 4.5 Corvettes, as well as a mini armada of rigid hull inflatable and high speed raiding craft. According to this video, once the commandoes boarded the ship in question they found suspicious bags of Iranian cement, and below those bags were crates filled with M-302 heavy rockets. The M-302s are built in Syria and have a range of between 100 and 200 kilometers depending on how their rocket sections are configured. Such a missile would put almost all of Israel in Hamas's reach when launched from the Gaza.
The suspicious cargo ship was on its way from Bandar Abbas Iran, Iran to Sudan, a well known mainland entry point for smuggling rockets through northern Africa and into Gaza. Israel has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to executing on intel related to the smuggling of rockets, or their components, into Gaza as we saw in spectacular fashion in 2012 with IDF-AF raid on a large rocket storage area in Khartoum, Sudan.
Yesterday's raid once again reminds us of the great lengths Israel's enemies will go to in an attempt ro kill Israeli civilians, and the cost Israel pays to prevent that from happening. Then again, this raid most likely did not cost a fraction of the price of all the Iron Dome missiles that would have to be fired in an attempt to intercept these rockets if they had made it into the hands of Hamas. Each time a rocket is launched and deemed a threat to a populated area, a pair of Iron Dome interceptors is launched at a cost of over $50,000 each.
Tit for tat in this part of the world remains a very expensive, deadly and futile game...