Netanyahu in Eilat for Arms Ship Photo-Op

YERUSHALAYIM -
M302 rockets found aboard the Klos C ship are displayed at an Israeli navy base in Eilat on Monday. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
M302 rockets found aboard the Klos C ship are displayed at an Israeli navy base in Eilat on Monday. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a special trip to Eilat on Monday for the Navy’s display of captured Iranian arms from the cargo ship interdicted over the weekend.

Standing in front of rows of missiles and mortar shells, Netanyahu castigated the world’s hypocrisy, noting a wave of condemnation when Israel “builds a balcony in Yerushalayim,” but only mild criticism when Iran tries to smuggle long-range missiles into Gaza.

Netanyahu said that there are those that preferred Israel not show the arms cache because they did not want to know the true nature of the Iranian regime, but rather to “develop the illusion that Iran has changed direction.”

M302 rockets found aboard the Klos C ship are displayed at an Israeli navy base in Eilat on Monday. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
M302 rockets found aboard the Klos C ship are displayed at an Israeli navy base in Eilat on Monday. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

“But the facts,” Netanyahu said, “prove the exact opposite.”

Though not mentioning EU policy chief Catherine Ashton by name, he referred critically to her current visit to Iran, saying, “we are witness to smiles and handshakes of representatives of the West with the representatives of Iran in Tehran at the very time that these missiles were being unloaded in Eilat.”

Diplomatic officials told The Jerusalem Post that relations between Ashton and Netanyahu are strained, and that the two have not spoken since August.

An Israeli soldier stands guard outside a navy base in Eilat on Monday. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
An Israeli soldier stands guard outside a navy base in Eilat on Monday. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

“This time there were long-range missiles in these containers,” he said. “In the containers in the future Iran can arm nuclear suitcases that it can send to every port in the world. The world must wake up from its illusions before it is too late and prevent Iran from getting the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons.”

The shipment contained 40 Syrian-made missiles, Iranian mortars and 400,000 bullets.

IDF intelligence assessments say that Iran’s Quds Force organized the shipment.