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Boat containing weapons found off Israel

Israeli army officers carry weapons out of a fishing boat in Haifa. The weapons were allegedly bound for Gaza  

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- The Israel Defense Forces said Monday they intercepted a boat containing weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, off the coast of northern Israel, near Rosh Hanikra.

The Israelis claimed the missiles were intended for Palestinian forces in Gaza, but a Palestinian spokesman denied Palestinians were behind the shipment.

At a news conference Monday, Maj. Gen. Yedidya Ya'ari, Israel's chief of naval forces, said an air force plane saw a ship on Sunday that looked suspicious.

Israeli ships intercepted the 40-ton San Torini and found it loaded with arms.

Ya'ari said Lebanese smugglers departed with the boatload of weapons from northern Lebanon. Their plan was to put the arms into barrels and put them into the sea, where they were to be picked up by Palestinians, he said.

Ya'ari said an ongoing investigation has concluded the organization responsible for sending the material is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command, under the leadership of Ahmed Jibril.

"It's absolutely unfounded," said Saeb Erakat, a Palestinian cabinet minister. "This accusation is part of Israel's war against the Palestinian Authority."

The IDF said the cache included:

  •  50 Katyusha rockets

  • Four SA-7 antiaircraft missiles

  • 120 RKG anti-tank missiles

  • 20 rocket-propelled grenade launchers

  • Two .60-mm mortars

  • 98 .60-mm mortar bombs

  • 62 TMA-5 land mines.

  • Eight TMA-3 land mines

  • 24 hand grenades

  • 30 Kalashnikov rifles

  • 116 gun cartridges for the rifles

  • 13,000 7.62-mm Kalashnikov bullets

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