The Israeli Navy intercepted and seized a merchant ship in the Red Sea that was transporting long-range cruise missiles from Iran to Hamas. The missiles were shipped originally from Syria and traveled to the Red Sea via a circuitous route. These links [1, 2, 3] offer specific details about the Israeli intelligence coup that led to this seizure of the cruise missiles which had the range to put virtually all of Israel under threat if they had been successfully smuggled into Gaza. The links also have good maps showing the route the ship traversed and where it was seized.

Interestingly, the first two links credit only the Israeli military and intelligence agencies for locating and tracking this shipment of missiles to Hamas. It is mentioned the Israelis tracked this shipment of missiles carefully for “months.” The third link mentions US intelligence agencies as assisting in this effort. The USA has excellent satellite surveillance and electronic monitoring capacities that would surely have been useful. The seized merchant ship is now reportedly in the Israeli Red Sea port of Eilat.

With Iran proceeding with its nuclear program and with the western nations apparently abandoning another “red line” by allowing this to happen, Israel has to be very vigilant in its own defense. This vessel seizure incident illustrates that the Israeli intelligence services are working very well in identifying threats long before they reach the Israeli region. The Israelis will, no doubt, carefully take apart the captured Syrian missiles to determine if they can enhance their own abilities to jam or shoot down similar such missiles in any future conflict. Since Israel seized several dozen of these long-range cruise missiles, I expect Israel will simply place them into the Israeli weapons inventory. Israel may make unique modifications to the missiles to make them more effective and who knows what Israel will put in the warhead sections of these missiles.

This episode also confirms that Iran is still very dedicated to the destruction of the Israeli nation. Given this fact, can anyone trust the Iranians when they state their nuclear program is simply for peaceful purposes?

Biblically, the founding of the Israeli Jewish nation was prophesied in Zephaniah 2. It will be involved in a great¬† war at the end of this age when the Messiah returns and sets his feet on the mount of Olives as he begins the millennium/Messianic Age (Zechariah 14). Zechariah 12 promises that God will not allow the Israeli nation to be wiped out in the latter days (our modern times). Indeed, after the Messiah (we Christians see Jesus Christ as fulfilling this prophecy) returns, the global capital of the world will be Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:9, 16). Jerusalem’s ultimate future is secure. However, the future of Damascus is quite grim (Isaiah 19:1). If the Syrian civil war continues a few more years, it is the Syrians themselves that may turn their own capital into a “ruinous heap.”