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Israeli Navy engages in defensive and offensive operations in Gaza

Israeli naval vessels have been engaged in both defensive and offensive manoeuvres during the ongoing conflict with the Gaza-based militant group Hamas.

Local media reports suggest the Israeli Navy has carried out more than 100 attacks using ship-based guns for naval bombardment and ship-launched missiles for precision strikes.

The operations have targeted Hamas' naval infrastructure, including bases, vessels, weapons, warehouses, and operatives, according to a statement issued on 16 May by Eli Sharvit, commander of the Israeli Navy.

Video footage of some of the attacks released by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Twitter showed the bombing of a pier in Gaza with vessels docked alongside.

Of particular interest was a video released by the IDF on 17 May, which showed the destruction of what it claimed was an underwater drone operated by Hamas.

The unmanned submersible device was allegedly in the process of being launched when it was attacked, and potentially contained a 30 kg explosive meant to target either Israeli ships or other naval assets.

According to a report in the Times of Israel , a number of these mini submarines have been developed by Hamas in recent years, fitted with GPS systems and controlled remotely by Hamas operatives.

Another video posted on social media showed an attack where a missile homed in on a target in the Gaza Strip after being launched from what was possibly a sea-based asset.

The lofted trajectory seen in the video resembles a projectile launched from a surface vessel. The video frame also bore some similarities to that seen on the Spike NLOS air-to-surface missile, and launchers for these are present on both Shaldag- and Super Dvora-class patrol boats.

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