AFM – Limpet Mines removed from Palestine Liberation Organization yacht ANGEL – 21.08.1987

After the Lebanon War the Israeli government was rather confident to secure the last strategic peace with the northern neighbour. To the Israeli Navy, Hezbollah at first was no enemy. The terrorists acted only in Lebanon and ashore of which they had no boats at their disposal and no move to carry out terror attacks at sea. Still the coast was not peaceful and Hezbollah was by no means the only terror organization in Lebanon.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is a Palestinian nationalist political and militant organization founded in 1964 with the initial purpose of establishing Arab unity and statehood over the territory of former Mandatory Palestine in opposition to the State of Israel.

Israel signalled the PLO how far its defence can go quite a lot and in August 1997 naval commandos attached 2 Limpet Mines to the PLO yacht ANGEL at Malta The mines were noticed as soon she was being slipped at Manoel Island Yacht Yard (MIYY) on 21st August, 1987 and they were removed by the EOD unit of the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) led by the late Brigadier Maurice Calleja offshore Malta while at sea of which the operation was praised by the late Palestine Chairman Yasser Arafat.

During that period there was the Royal Navy Type 22 class frigate HMS BROADSWORD F 88 berthed at Crucifix Wharf of which naval personnel confirmed that the mines were from Israel. 6 crew members were questioned by the Malta Police.

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Published – Monday 4th July, 2022.