An Israeli naval patrol killed at least four Palestinian militants in diving gear off the Gaza coast yesterday, Hamas security officials and the Israeli army said.


“An Israeli naval patrol spotted a boat with four men in diving suits on their way to carry out a terror attack and fired at them,” an Israeli army spokesman said, adding that the patrol had confirmed hitting its targets.

The spokesman did not say what the army thought was the intended objective of the divers.


Hamas security sources said four bodies had been found and a fifth man was missing and presumed dead.


The incident occurred eight days after Israeli marines killed nine Turks in violent confrontations on a Turkish cruise ship, which was part of a six-vessel convoy that set out to challenge an Israeli-led blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.