The Israeli Navy will participate in Operation Active Endeavour, a Nato naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the global war on terror.

Under Operation Active Endeavour, Nato ships will patrol the Mediterranean to prevent the movement of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction, as well as to enhance the security of shipping.

The operating task force in the region includes surface units, submarines and patrol aircraft, and also regularly uses frigate forces.

Israel wanted to deploy a vessel to join the active force in the region two years ago, a request that has only now been ratified.

The operation began on 6 October 2001 as one of the eight Nato responses to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.