TEL AVIV, July 14 (RIA Novosti) -- Two Israeli Defense Force (IDF) warships have crossed the Suez Canal, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, according to media reports on Tuesday.
The Hanit and Eilat missile boats crossed the canal on a highly secretive mission, Arab sources said.
The Israeli Navy recently intensified its activity in the Suez area, in cooperation with the Egyptian authorities that control the canal. The route significantly shortens the distance and traveling time to Africa and is crucial for operations in the Red Sea.
Israeli officials have declined to comment on the reports.
Sources said the "mission" was to stop arms smuggling to Palestinian-controlled Gaza as most of the arms smuggled into the Palestinian enclave arrive by sea.
An Israeli nuclear-capable submarine reportedly crossed the canal in June as part of an exercise by Israel designed to demonstrate the country's strategic reach in the face of an alleged threat from Iran.