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Dingy carrying foreign nationals’ ID papers, but no people, washes up in Netanya

Police find documents of Somali citizens, reportedly also Turks, along with other personal effects of at least 8; search launched to find missing occupants

A rubber dingy carrying no people but filled with personal items and identity papers of foreign nationals washed up on the beach near the coastal city of Netanya, the Israel Police said Sunday.

Police said that among the items inside the dingy were the documents of three Somali citizens. According to Hebrew media reports, citing unnamed municipal officials, documents for a total of eight people were found, including Turkish citizens. At least one of the identity papers was that of a child.

Other items included water bottles and energy snacks, the Ynet outlet reported.

It was not immediately clear what happened to the occupants of the boat — whether they were washed overboard before it arrived or abandoned the craft and its contents after it reached the shore.

Police launched a search for any trace of those who may have been on board, including combing the beach, the sea off the coast, and sending up a drone.

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A senior police source told Channel 12 that the arrival of the boat was a serious security failure as it could just as easily have been carrying terrorists.

“Where is the navy? They should have detected it,” he said.

Tens of thousands of migrants from Africa try to cross the Mediterranean Sea each year using dangerously overcrowded ruby dingies or poorly maintained vessels to reach Europe. While some succeed, many are lost at sea.

In June, a fishing boat carrying migrants capsized and sank off the coast of Greece, leaving at least 78 people dead and many dozens feared missing in one of the worst disasters of its kind.