With ISIS-affiliated fighters in the Egyptian Sinai near Eilat, the Israeli Navy has exercised a scenario in which ISIS fighters take over an Israeli ship. The exercise included Israeli naval combat soldiers, missile ships, and the Shayetet 13 naval commandos, who were responsible for the extraction of hostages aboard the hijacked ship.
The threat of ISIS in the Sinai has increased over the past year. This is evidenced by the recent downing of an Egyptian civilian aircraft in the Sinai Desert. In order to combat this threat, the navy’s response must be rapid and in complete coordination with the police and Magen David Adom (MDA) in Eilat in the event of an incident.
Major exercises of this sort take place a few times a year. Each exercise prepares the navy for operations in a different maritime theater. Previously, they have trained for operations in Israel’s north, preparing for the threat of Hezbollah, as well as off the coast of Gaza.
To counter the threat of infiltration by enemy divers, the Israeli Navy is building an underwater fence near the Princess Hotel in Eilat and near the Taba Crossing. The navy is also placing more resources to prevent surface attacks as those events would likely not have advance intelligence. In the meantime, the Israeli Navy is ensuring that daily life in Eilat will not be disrupted. Despite the threat, all boats, from massive cruiseliners to jet skis will continue to be able enjoying spending time in the waters off Eilat.