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Israel intercepts boat carying weapons on Dead Sea

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

JERUSALEM -- Israeli security forces intercepted a boat Monday on the Dead Sea carrying assault rifles and ammunition from Jordan, Israeli authorities said.

The military provided a photograph showing a haul of 10 Kalashnikov rifles and the same number of ammunition clips. Two men on board, Palestinians in their forties, were arrested, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

He said the intended destination of the weapons was unclear.

The military said it was treating the incident as an attempted weapons smuggling operation and not as an attempted militant attack. Army Radio described the vessel as a rubber dinghy.

Rosenfeld said the arrests capped a police operation that lasted several weeks.

The Dead Sea, a landlocked salt lake at the lowest point on the earth's surface, is split between Israeli and Jordanian control. The northwestern section of the lake is in the West Bank, which the Palestinians claim as part of a future state.

Israel and Jordan have a peace agreement, and their frontier is generally quiet.

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