Report: Israel and Lebanon in ‘Indirect Cooperation’ over Gaza Flotillasإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Israeli navy has recently strengthened its “indirect cooperation” with the Lebanese navy in the Mediterranean ahead of possible pro-Palestinian flotillas to Gaza on Nakba Day, Haaretz daily reported.
The Lebanese army increased its naval operations and barred any ship from approaching the maritime border with Israel, to prevent any possible provocations on Land Day on March 30, Haaretz said.
It said that when the Israeli navy identifies a fishing boat that is closing in on Israel's maritime border at a distance less than 400 meters, it resorts 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 Israeli navy has been preparing for possible pro-Palestinian flotillas to Gaza on Nakba Day on May 15.
"On the one hand we are glad that (the Lebanese) are helping us, but on the other hand it's not always good, as we remember the Lebanese sniper," Haaretz quoted an Israeli navy officer as saying in reference to a 2010 border clash between the two armies that left an Israeli soldier and three Lebanese dead.
"Our goal is that the Lebanese will take care of the fishing boats that approach the border," a commander in the Israeli navy said. "The danger is the close distance: A suicide bomber could get to Rosh Hanikra or Achziv beach within seconds."
According to Israeli intelligence assessments, Hizbullah is preparing for a possible attack on Israel from the southern Lebanese border, and is reportedly also operating ships.
"Currently it is very quiet here, but like the entire northern border, if nothing is happening – it is because Hizbullah doesn't want anything to happen," the commander told Haaretz.