Israeli sources reported on Sunday that three days after an attack on their vessel, the bodies of three missing crew members were found.

The Israeli Ynetnews reported that an initial probe into attack on missile boat Friday revealed that the  Israeli Navy had no intelligence of possible missile threat in area where boat was operating.

The Ynetnews added that missile, aircraft interception system was turned off due to presence of Israeli military fighter-jets in sector.

The Israeli vessel was hit Friday evening after fighters of Hezbollah launched rocket, off the Beirut coastline at it.  After the vessel was borough back to Ahdod port Saturday night, naval personnel, the rabbinate and a criminal identification team searched the area for the bodies of the missing troops, the Ynetnews added.

updated from:
Israel: “Soldier killed, three missing after Navel vessel shelled in Beirut coast”
2006-07-16 05:05:37

Israeli sources reported that one soldier was killed and three went missing after Hezbollah fighters fired shells at an Israeli warship off the coast of Lebanon on Saturday. The ship is equipped with very advanced systems, the shells hit the vessel  near its helicopter landing pad at the rear of the ship.

The killed officer was identified as Staff Sergeant Tal Amgar, 21, from Ashdod. Three soldiers identified as Sergeant Yoni Hershkovitz, 21, from Haifa; Corporal Shai Atias, 19, from Rishon Letzion and First Staff Sergeant Dov Shteinshos, 37, from Carmiel, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.

The three missing soldiers were in the rear end of the ship.

Haaretz added that the incident occurred close to 8 P.M., west of Beirut, when the INS Spear, a Saar-5 Class destroyer, was on patrol as part of the naval blockade imposed on Lebanon since Wednesday.

The ship, according to Israeli sources, was not in operation because a number of Israeli aircraft were operating in the area. It was feared that the “defensive systems” of the ship wound mistakenly identity the Israeli aircraft as “enemy targets”.

Israeli sources reported that the initial reports indicated that ship was struck by an unmanned aerial vehicle loaded with explosives, but later on it became clear the it was hit by a missile.

Haaretz said that the missile, is a C-802 radar-guided anti-shipping missile manufactured in Iran using Chinese technology. Its range is estimated to be about 110 km.

Close to midnight the ship made its way to port in Israel where its rudders were repaired.

Meanwhile, Israeli military sources claimed that Iran transferred  C-802 missiles to Hezbollah, but “it is not clear of Iranian experts were involved in the firing of the missiles.

After the attack, the Israeli air force shelled several radar stations that belongs to the Lebanese army; Israel claims that the Lebanese army radar took place in the shelling of the ship.

Senior Israeli military officials said that the army would attack Lebanese army positions and bases if they take part in attacking the Israeli army.

The Lebanese Ministry of Health reported that, a total of 23 Lebanese were killed on Saturday, 79 residents were killed and 250 were injured since Israel launched its offensive in Lebanon on Wednesday. Many of the casualties are women and children.