Tensions were rising in Israel as two Iranian naval vessels approached Mediterranean waters Thursday morning. The boats, which departed Iran two-and-a-half weeks ago with Syria as their destination, were expected to cross the Suez Canal on Wednesday night. This is the first time since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 that Iranian war vessels have passed through Mediterranean waters, across from Israel's coast.
In recent days, Israel has asked the United States and several other countries to take measures to block the Iranian boats' passage through the Suez Canal. Because of the political crisis in Egypt, however, they were unable to intervene on Israel's behalf.