TEL AVIV (Aug. 23)
Israel Navy Major General Avraham Ben-Shoshan said Tuesday, on the eve of Navy Day, that 53 terrorists have been killed in Israeli naval actions during the past three years, and more than 100 have been captured at sea.
He said that the terrorists are now using a wide variety of naval vessels, including cargo ships sailing under the registry of “straw companies,” which the Israeli sailors have to identify with accuracy.
Ben-Shoshan said he hoped the Navy’s new equipment purchase program would be signed by the end of this year, and the new vessels would be in commission in the mid-1990s.
The navy commander said that both Iraq and Iran have updated their war equipment with Western technology, which will probably spread to terrorist activities in the Mediterranean. This might also include sea mining and could represent a real threat to Israel.
Ben-Shoshan said that the Navy also fights a drug battle. During the past year, Israeli naval vessels have intercepted over 10 ships smuggling drugs and have seized some 10 tons of drugs.