by: Itai Blumenthal
Tuesday, 12 November 2019 | A Russian submarine was spotted in Israel’s territorial waters near central Israel three months ago, Ynet learned on Monday.
The submarine was located by the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] naval forces some 8 nautical miles (15 kilometers), while Israeli territorial waters stretch to 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) off the shore.
Once it became clear the submarine was Russian, the naval officers contacted their Russian counterparts, activating the Naval Coordination Mechanism between the two countries through the Planning Directorate (a directorate in the IDF General Staff).
This prompted the submarine to leave the area and head toward the western Mediterranean.
The Israeli military did not elaborate on whether any damage has been done to the security of the state or for how long the submarine stayed in Israel’s territorial waters.
“From time to time the IDF naval forces discover targets within our territorial borders, which may be perceived as being vessels belonging to foreign military,” said the army in a statement. “We do not intend to comment on the details of the article.”
The presence of Russian submarines in Israel’s territorial waters could be part of Moscow’s recent attempts to entrench itself in the Middle East after it has established its military presence in Syria. The maneuver could also have long-term implications on Israeli security if it was to be revealed that the submarine had intelligence-gathering capabilities.
Posted on November 12, 2019
Photo Credit: Matan Portnoy/IDF Spokesperson Unit/flickr.com
Photo License: flickr.com
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