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Israel Seizes Suspected Arms-Smuggling Ship

Israel's military says it has seized a cargo ship that it believes was smuggling "tons" of weapons to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli navy intercepted the Liberian-flagged vessel Victoria on Tuesday in the Mediterranean about 320 kilometers off the Israeli coast. Officials say the ship's crew offered no resistance when commandos boarded the vessel.

The freighter is being towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod for a thorough examination of its contents.

Israeli officials say they believe the ship set out from Syria with a stop in Turkey and was en route to Egypt when it was intercepted. The Jerusalem Post newspaper says authorities believe the intention was to unload the weapons in Egypt and transport them by land into Gaza.

If confirmed, it would not be Israel's first seizure of concealed weapons at sea. In 2002, Israeli commandos intercepted a cargo ship that was carrying a reported 50 tons of weapons allegedly from Iran to the Palestinian Authority.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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