Iran behind Gaza-bound arms ship: Israel

Tel Aviv, March 7: Israel has strong evidence of Iran’s links to the rockets-carrying cargo ship seized by Israeli naval forces in the Red Sea, the country’s military intelligence said Thursday.

“A slew of our intelligence units spent many months piecing together the puzzle regarding the arms smuggling. We are equipped with good, solid evidence that incriminates Iran and reinforces its connection to the affair,” Xinhua quoted Major General Aviv Kochavi, head of Israel’s military intelligence, as saying.

But Kochavi declined to comment on the initial information that led Israel to begin monitoring the arms shipment, or how it was received.

Iran Thursday flatly rejected the Israeli allegations.

“This allegation is not true and, in principle, the message or movement of a ship carrying weapons from Iran to Gaza is not true,” said Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs.

He added that “the allegation is merely based on repetitious and baseless fabrications of the Zionist media”.

Israeli Navy Tuesday raided the Panamanian-flagged Klos C on the maritime border of Sudan and Eritrea, some 1,500 km from Israel’s shores. A search of the cargo found Iran-made M-302 long-range rockets and other munitions.

IANS