A year ago, the Israeli fishermen of Kiryas Joel were fishing in the Gulf of Aqaba off the coast of the Gaza Strip when a huge crane lifted off, and the Israeli navy began its search for the missing ship.
As the Israeli fleet searched for the ship, it was discovered, almost 200 kilometres away in the Mediterranean Sea, in the waters of the Red Sea, by the Egyptian navy.
The crew of the missing vessel were believed to be Turkish, and Egypt has since confirmed that the vessel was a Russian fishing vessel.
But the incident, which took place a week after the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on Israel for the killing of Palestinian fisherman in Gaza, has been widely covered as an Israeli effort to thwart the recovery of a missing ship from a Turkish fishing vessel in the Red Seas.
It was also covered by the Israeli media as a case of international piracy and espionage.
The Israeli navy announced that it had recovered the vessel in a rescue operation that lasted two days, after which the Israeli fishing fleet, accompanied by the Turkish Navy, began its journey back to Israel.
The Turkish navy, however, has denied involvement in the incident.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, has accused Israel of “blackmailing” the Egyptian Navy, which has dispatched ships to the area in search of the sunken ship.
Israel has denied the allegations, saying the Turkish fleet had been fishing in waters off the Mediterranean for two weeks.
However, on Monday, Israel’s Channel 10 TV reported that a Turkish navy ship had arrived at the site of the sinking in the area where the missing fishing vessel was believed to have been located, as well as at a nearby Turkish military base.
“The Turkish ship, which was not authorized to enter the area, left on Sunday,” the channel said.
“We have no doubt that they are there in order to search for [the missing] ship, but that we are not involved in this.”
The Turkish Navy has also denied any involvement in a recent incident where the Turkish navy intercepted a Turkish vessel off the Gaza border.
The Turkish navy said the intercepted vessel had been carrying arms and ammunition.
On Sunday, the Turkish government said it was “disappointed” by Israel’s “insult to the Turkish people”, and said the incident showed the “danger of the international piracy network.”
“The world must stop ignoring the crimes of the smuggling network operating from the sea and the need to strengthen international law,” the statement said.
“Israel should immediately cease its illegal activity and stop threatening the territorial integrity of the State of Israel and the State’s sovereignty.
We are in a situation where the smuggling of weapons, drugs and arms is increasing in the region.”
Israel’s defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, said the Turkish ship had been escorted by the Navy and that the search for an aircraft carrier in the Black Sea was continuing.
“There is no doubt about it that the Turkish vessel has a Turkish flag and has been accompanied by a Turkish ship,” Yaalon said.