According to Arab sources, two Israeli Defense Force warships have crossed the Suez Canal, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. The INS Hanit and INS Eilat torpedo boats crossed the canal to conduct a highly secretive “operational activity”.
The act is seen as another example of growing cooperation between Israel and Egypt, as the sea route significantly shortens the travel time to Africa and the IDF’s operations in the Red Sea. Israel has no plans to station its submarines in Eilat. “If anything we are scaling down our naval operations in Eilat,” said an Israeli military official.
But Israel’s strategic interests have begun to increase in the Red Sea. An Iranian ship was sunk off the coast of Sudan while trying to smuggle arms into Gaza a few months ago. Military officials told the American Foreign Press, “Egypt and Israel wanted to show their coordination in the face of Iran pursuing its nuclear program.”