The Lebanon-based Hezbollah party stated Thursday that it has no relation whatsoever with the weapons vessel Israel said it captured while reportedly sailing to southern Lebanon to rearm Hezbollah. The party yet described the Israeli act as piracy since the vessel was sailing in international waters.
Israeli sources reported that the ship was boarded by Israeli Naval forces two days ago, and that it carried Iranian weapons on their way to Hezbollah and Hamas.
Hezbollah also stated that Israeli is fabricating news to divert the world’s attention from the Goldstone report, and to increase pressure on Iran.
The vessel did not contain any advanced weapons that could change the power balance in the region, as the weapons it carried were described by some sources as old.
According to the Israeli sources, the vessel included hundreds of Katyusha rockets and anti-tank shells, in addition to thousands of mortars, thousands of Kalashnikov rifles and dozens of thousands of live rounds.
Israeli paper, Maariv, reported that Israel intends to make a public display of the seized vessel, and would try to convey a message that it is countering terrorist organizations along its northern and southern borders.
It also wants to use the issue to increase Security Council pressure on Iran for its support to Hezbollah and Hamas.
Israeli Army spokesperson said that the vessel was sailing under Antiguan flag and under the guise of a humanitarian ship.
He added that the ship started its journey from an Iranian port.