Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Seize Israeli-Linked Ship in Red Sea, Escalating Regional Tensions
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have heightened regional tensions by seizing an Israeli-linked cargo ship in a crucial Red Sea shipping route. The rebels took 25 crew members hostage, raising concerns that the Israel-Hamas conflict is now extending to a maritime front.
The Iran-backed Houthi rebels claim they commandeered the ship due to its association with Israel. They vow to target ships linked to or owned by Israelis in international waters until the conclusion of Israel’s campaign against Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office attributes the attack to the Houthis, naming the Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader, a vehicle carrier linked to an Israeli billionaire. The 25 crew members, of various nationalities, were reported safe, with no Israelis on board.
The Houthis pledge to treat the crew members “in accordance with their Islamic values.” Netanyahu’s office condemns the seizure as an “Iranian act of terror,” emphasizing the global consequences of the hijacking.
The Galaxy Leader was reportedly British-owned and Japanese-operated, though public shipping databases associate its ownership with Ray Car Carriers, founded by Israeli businessman Abraham “Rami” Ungar. The Houthis’ seizure method, rappelling from a helicopter, mirrors Iran’s tactics.
The incident follows recent interceptions by U.S. warships of missiles and drones from Yemen, believed to pose threats to Israel and American vessels. The Red Sea, a critical trade route, remains a focal point of military presence amid escalating regional conflicts.
As the situation unfolds, concerns persist over potential wider regional conflict escalation, intertwining with maritime security in key global shipping routes.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship in a crucial Red Sea shipping route on Sunday, officials said, taking over two dozen crew members hostage. https://t.co/OorhoCpGQl
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