Israel Unloads 40 Short-range Rockets From Gaza-bound Ship

Army also unloads mortar shells and ammunition for Kalashnikov rifles from the vessel that it seized last week.

Israeli troops on Sunday unloaded 40 short-range rockets, 181 121-mm mortar shells and about 400,000 7.62-mm-caliber bullets for Kalashnikovs from the Gaza-bound ship that commandos seized last week.

The cargo vessel, the Klos C, was intercepted in the Red Sea on Wednesday and brought to the port of Eilat on Saturday.

A source taking part in the operation Sunday said fuses were also unloaded for the 40 M-302 rockets with ranges of 90 to 160 kilometers.

“These arms are advanced weapons that would have put millions of Israelis at risk,” an army official said. “The army will continue its mission to prevent arms smuggling throughout the Middle East intended for terrorist groups sponsored and funded by Iran.”

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the shipment had been headed for the Gaza Strip via Sudan.

Troops from the navy, Engineering Corps and Ordnance Corps unloaded the weapons from dozens of containers, where they had been stored with hundreds of sacks of concrete.

On Monday a press conference will take place at the Eilat naval base; on hand will be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Deputy Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot and navy chief Ram Rothberg. Chief of Staff Benny Gantz is in the United States.