Reports began to trickle out of the Middle East early this morning that elite Israeli commandos had intercepted a massive Iranian arms shipment - apparently bound for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip - about 1,500 kilometers off Israel\'s coast.
The interdiction of the ship -- which was carrying M-302 missiles that had apparently originated in Syria -- is likely to refocus debate not only on Iran\'s sponsorship of anti-Israel terror groups across the region, but also on its destabilization of Washington\'s traditional Arab allies. Earlier this week Financial Times reported on new evidence pointing to Iranian involvement in Bahraini unrest. This morning\'s shipment of arms, meanwhile, was almost immediately read by analysts against the backdrop of ongoing Egyptian-Hamas tensions.
The work of unraveling the regional implications of the interdiction will take weeks, and has only begun. Israel is still reportedly interrogating the 17 crew members from the ship. Nonetheless the contours of the upcoming debate are already taking shape.
Listen in as The Israel Project hosts an on-record conference call with IDF Spokesman Peter Lerner today, Wednesday, March, 5th. Lt. Col. Lerner will provide an overview of the incident and take questions regarding its potential implications across the region.
About The Speaker
Born in the United Kingdom, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner has for the last 20 years been involved in military and civilian affairs, dealing in media, public and foreign relations.
Lt. Col. Lerner has been the senior field liaison officer for coordinating and facilitating international humanitarian aid operations and economic development programs in the Palestinian territories: UN agencies, International Committee of the Red Cross, USAID, the Task Force for Project Implementation, European Union, international NGOs as well as embassies and consulates. He has held positions both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and has also been posted as the Spokesman for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, subordinate to the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Between April 2009-October 2012, Lt. Col. Lerner served as the IDF Spokesman for the Central Command dealing with media relations, concerning the military activities within the Commands responsibility.
In February 2013, Lt. Col. Lerner was appointed to command the IDF International Media Department.