Mystery Sub was Spying for the U.S.
Arieh O'Sullivan - Jerusalem Post - June 5, 2005
The mystery submarine that Israel detected snooping off its shores last November belonged to the American navy and was on a spy mission, Channel Two reported Sunday.
According to the unattributed report, Israeli officials have not indicated what the Americans may have been looking for.
Military officials declined to comment on the report. Senior military sources have only said that it belonged to a "Western navy."
The incident occurred on the night of November 9 off the northern coast of Israel. The Navy had detected the submarine after it had penetrated two nautical miles into Israel's territorial waters, about 18 kilometers from shore.
The Navy followed the submarine for a few hours, but the moment it took active measures to close in on the submarine, it quickly turn and headed back to international waters.
MK (Likud) Yuval Steinitz, head of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee hinted at the time of American involvement when he warned if Israel had attacked the sub "dozens of American or French sailors would have died unnecessarily."
Following the incident, reports surfaced late last year that the United States had increased its intelligence operations against Israel as part of an effort to prevent escalation of the conflict with the Palestinians with an invasion of the Gaza Strip following incessant Kassam rocket strikes, or offensive action against Hizbullah in Lebanon or even Syria.
The reports said the United States had increased U.S. satellite monitoring of Israel to determine military movements, import and export of weapons and weapons tests. They also said the Americans had expanded the interception of signals communications from Israeli government and military facilities.