Israel, Lebanon Navies Increase Cooperation

Forces Prepare for 'Nakba Day' Flotillas

By Haaretz

Published April 11, 2012.

The Israel Navy has recently strengthened its cooperation with the Lebanese Navy in the Mediterranean, as it prepares for possible pro-Palestinian flotillas to Gaza on “Nakba Day” this month.

According to Israel Navy officials, the indirect cooperation between the Israeli and Lebanese navies has increased.

On Land Day last month, when hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets to protest the loss of Arab lands in the Galilee, the Lebanese army increased its naval operations and barred any ship from approaching the maritime border with Israel, to prevent any possible provocations.

The Israel Defense Forces has also recently been aided by the Lebanese Navy in driving out foreign fishing boats that have been nearing Israeli waters. As a result, a significantly fewer number of foreign ships approach Israel’s maritime border now.

When the Israeli navy identifies a fishing boat that is closing in on Israel’s maritime border at a distance less than 400 meters, the Israel Navy turns to its counterparts on the Lebanese side, through an international body, and Lebanese ships arrive and drive the boat north, away from the Israeli border.

The Israel Navy has been preparing for possible pro-Palestinian flotillas to Gaza on “Nakba Day,” to take place on May 15 to mourn the displacement of Palestinians following the establishment of Israel in 1948, and on “Naksa Day,” which takes place in June and commemorates the displacement of Palestinians after the 1967 war.

For more, go to Haaretz.com



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