Israeli Warship Violates Egyptian Waters, Captain Imprisoned
Haaretz reports today a story first broken by Channel 10 news, that an Israeli navy patrol boat violated Egyptian territorial waters last week, encroaching nearly half a mile into Egypt. Israeli censorship prevents the naming of the country whose waters were violated. But an Israeli source confirms that it was Egypt. Israel is describing the incident as a “navigational error” on the part of the captain, who was charged, convicted and imprisoned. The IDF is claiming that the captain corrected course when his error was caught by shore radar which directed him back to international waters. The Haaretz report says that Egypt did not detect the violation and did not challenge the vessel.
While this explanation is possible, it’s also possible Israel wished to test Egypt’s surveillance/security systems to see how or if they might respond to an intrusion. Of course, it’s unlikely they would imprison a ship captain for doing such an approved mission. But who knows. Simply the fact that an Israeli navy captain, sailing near the waters of a frontline state with extremely tense relations with Israel would make such a blunder isn’t just troubling, it’s borderline nuts.
Remember what happened a few years ago to the British naval patrol boat captured by Iran, thus causing an international incident of enormous proportions. If you think the Egypt-Israel peace treaty hangs by a thread now, imagine what would happen if this Israeli boat had been captured. Instead of one Gilad Shalit, imagine 30 of them in Egyptian custody. Of course the Egyptian military would want to spirit them back to Israel as fast as possible. But would the Egyptian popular movement permit it?
The main point of this episode is how easy it would be to light up this tinderbox and cause a war. And a good part of the reason why conditions are so bone dry is Bibi Netanyahu’s truculent “leadership.” He reminds me a bit of the hubris exhibited by the British forces storming the beaches at Gallipoli during WWI, only to be mown down in their thousands by superior Turkish power. Bibi tells the nation to join with him and charge into the maw of certain defeat. The peoples of Egypt and Turkey are arrayed against him and behind them the combined nations of the General Assembly. No matter. All Israel has to do is stay the course and all will end well. Where did we hear that one before?
It’s worth noting also that two days before this incident, an Egyptian naval patrol detected an Israeli yacht in Egyptian waters. When the private security guards and crew aboard, some of whom were Israeli and others foreigners, feared they would be boarded, they dumped their weapons overboard. The Egyptian navy took them in for questioning. After intercession from the Israeli foreign ministry, the security guards were released. Though it’s possible these were more than private security guards protecting an Israeli client’s yacht from pirates, which is how the Israeli media has explained it, it’s possible the story is more or less as reported.
15 thoughts on “Israeli Warship Violates Egyptian Waters, Captain Imprisoned – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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It seems that, regarding Israeli and Egyptian relations and further crumbling thereof (with the long term view of Israeli reclaiming the Sinai), that we are at the “who blinks first” stage of a showdown.
I wonder how long it will take the Israeli people to oust their government before it drives them to ruin?
Accidently? Kind of the same “navigational error” as building walls or settlements on Palestinian grounds. Any more provocations by Israel?
This incident isn’t something new – it is the history of Israeli actions in the 50s – boats would probe the border, often with surveillance equipment, and risk interdiction. A large number of Israeli boats were taken by Egypt during the War of Attrition as a result.
Sorry to be rude and seemingly knowall but for some reason the comments here are really dumb and unusually so.
Israel has no aspirations for Sinai. No leader has even hinted this since the peace agreement. No Israeli even thinks in that direction, not even the most extreme of the right.
There won’t be coup in israel, the government will fall only be election and only if there won’t be a Palestinian terror attack in the week before the election.
Of course it was accidental and the captain is in prison. The invaded country didn’t even notice.
“Israel has no aspirations for Sinai. No leader has even hinted this since the peace agreement. No Israeli even thinks in that direction, not even the most extreme of the right.”
Well if it so, then who are those countless “strangers” who use terms like we and Israel in comments demanding taking Sinai back by force. Either you Shmuel are writing pure propaganda or you do not have the faintest idea what your people are thinking.
An army doesn’t put in prison an officer whose ship made a navigation, in the end a small, error. In these cases the government says sorry to victim country and the captain is in silence put to new job where his navigation and leadership skills can be better used. So if was a real individual human error.
If the crossing of the border was done under normal orders to check the neighbours defence mechanisms I suppose that the officers of a navy and army would not approve putting their collage in prison for obeying orders. Nobody would any more dare to follow order in these border “issues”.
An army/navy puts in a prison a captain who belongs to a army fraction which wants to provoke a war creating such border conflicts. That trial would be used to send a message as a warning to the members of the army and by making it public also serves as a message to neighbour state(s).
By the way Shmuel if Israel would put to jail all airforce pilots who make a “navigation error” on the country’s border then most Israeli pilots would be in prison. So commonly are Israeli military pilots flying in foreign airspace against international treaties and rules.
Israel definitely wants to annex Sinai. that’s why they’re building a fence along the border with Egypt.
God, it truly would be idiotic for Israel to try to take back the Sinai. In fact, the U.S. wouldn’t allow it even if Israel was stupid enough to try or want to try.
That is an interesting thought. If Egypt is not required to keep its part in the peace agreement – allowing Sinai to become a terrorist haven, allowing a mob to violate diplomatic immunity, etc. why must Israel honor its part in the agreement? If Egypt feels the peace deal was not fair enough let them give Sinai back to Israel and resume the 1979 negotiations.
So simple and straightfoward, yet those who look for bad in Israel will always find it, leave aside logic and facts.
Reported facts (from Israel, the only source so far!) – a captain mis-navigated into a foreign country’s territorial waters, was immediately spotted by Israeli land based radar and ordered out.
The captain was tried in a disciplinary court and found guilty of negligence and sentenced to 7 days prison.
Simple, but no, here are conspiracies, deliberate provocations, cover up, etc.
Some times a simple story and error is just that, nothing more nothing less. Let it go!
The “invaded” country doesn’t even know and hasn’t complained!
Yes, of course, maybe, but Israel does do lots of “cute” stuff, and indeed this could have been a means cum “accident” to do a little probing. With Israel, indeed perhaps with all the regional contenders, skepticism seems our best and most obvious modus operandi.
Wow! I managed to get a gag-order from our “freedom fighter” and this after my first comment! Let’s forget the blatant lie that I have been warned before. You will not find any previous postings of me, but let’s see why I was banned. I called Richard a “master of deception” and explained why, I was also sarcastic, I said he was full of obsessive hate towards Israel and I refuted some of his comments. So now I read his “rules for comments” and understand that commenters have to completely self-censor themselves, be humble to Silverstein, and certainly not use links he has problems refuting. The same guy who mocks Israel censorship acts like a Sovjet era censor…
I apparently made a mistake and confused you with another commenter who I’d warned before about violating the comment rules. So I shouldn’t have banned you on your first comment.
But I certainly deleted your first comment because it was beyond offensive. And now this comment is equally offensive. I only publish it to show others the reason why you now will be banned.
If prohibiting you from calling me a “deceiver” and “hater of Israel” means you have to censor yourself in order to post here, my heart goes out to ya. If your neighbor visited your home would you welcome him to take a dump on your floor? Nor do I welcome you taking a dump on me here.
Richard, you scram conspiracy because you have no idea how the IDF operates. Every-time a border is being crossed by mistake, the officer responsible is being fined and punished, normal procedure specially with the Navy & Air Force.
The only interesting part of this article is the fact it’s Egypt.
All the rest is cheap analysis and speculations.
Not too interesting.