TEL AVIV — Israeli media said Tuesday that none of the eight people that the Palestinian Abu Nidal terrorist group claims it seized aboard a French-registered yacht are Israeli or Jewish.
"They are not Israelis and not Jews and have nothing at all to do with the Middle East conflict," said Tamar Golan, Israel army radio's correspondent in France.
The radio said it was not certain that the 43-foot Silko, a converted sardine fishing boat, had even been captured as claimed Sunday, supposedly in the heavily patrolled waters off the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip.
The daily Haaretz reported: "The terrorists erred: They meant to seize a boat with Israelis--but captured Belgian Catholics."
"It's clear that because of awful intelligence-gathering on their part, they seized a boat they didn't mean to," Israeli military columnist Zev Schiff wrote in Haaretz.