Israeli naval commandos seized an arms ship near Cyprus early Wednesday and towed it to a southern Israeli port, defense officials said. Military officials told The Associated Press that the ship originated in Iran and its cargo was headed for Hizbullah in Lebanon.
The defense officials conveyed the arms cache included various missiles, including anti-tank missiles. The boat, whose weapons were being unloaded at the southern Israeli port of Ashdod, was disguised as an aid boat and was flying an Antiguan flag, they added.
A senior Lebanese army official refused to comment on the report.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement that the capture of the ship was "another success against the relentless attempts to smuggle weapons to bolster terrorist elements threatening Israel's security."
Military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich said a naval unit on a routine patrol identified a cargo ship flying an Antigua flag about 160 kilometers west of Israel's coast and intercepted it without incident.