Israelis destroy booby-trapped, unmanned Palestinian boat

Sunday, January 19, 2003

GAZA CITY The Hamas movement has claimed credit for the development of an unmanned boat meant to strike Israeli naval vessels off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, the Hamas unmanned vessel attempted to ram into an Israeli Dabur fast attack vessel. The Dabur spotted the unmanned raft and destroyed it about four kilometers off the coast in the northern Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources said the boat is meant to be directed by remote control against Israeli naval patrol boats in the Mediterranean Sea.

No injuries or damage were reported in the attack. Later, Hamas claimed responsibility.

A Hamas statement said the boat was filled with explosives. The statement said one person was on the boat.

But an Israeli military statement said nobody was aboard the Hamas raft. An Israeli military source said the unmanned Hamas craft appeared to be a new method used to attack naval vessels.

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