Houthi Rebels Seize Cargo Ship in Red Sea, Heightening Tensions Between Yemen and Israel
Yemen's Houthi rebels hijack a cargo ship linked to Israel in the Red Sea, raising concerns over ongoing tensions between the rebels and Israel. The ownership of the vessel is uncertain.
Yemen's Houthi rebels have released a video showing armed men hijacking a cargo ship in the Red Sea. The ship, named Galaxy Leader, was en route from Turkey to India and was allegedly linked to Israel. The ownership of the vessel is uncertain, but reports suggest it is partly owned by an Israeli shipping businessman. The incident highlights the ongoing tensions between the Houthi rebels and Israel in the region.
NEW: Yemen's Houthi rebels have taken over an 'Israeli-linked' cargo ship in international waters taking 25 crew members hostage— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 20, 2023
The Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, say they will continue to target Israeli linked ships until the Israel-Gaza conflict is over
One problem:… pic.twitter.com/JCbQ6oS46f
The video footage released by the Houthi rebels shows masked men armed with weapons dropping from a helicopter onto the ship's deck. The rebels then seize control of the vessel and raise both the Yemeni and Palestinian flags onboard. The Galaxy Leader had 52 people onboard and was flying the flag of the Bahamas. Reports vary on the number of crew members, with some sources stating 52 and others suggesting 22. The Israeli authorities confirmed the seizure of the ship but denied that it had Israeli origins. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) contradicted assertions that the ship was Israeli and insisted that no Israeli nationals were present on board.
However, the ship is believed to be partly owned by Israeli shipping businessman Rami Ungar. The hijacking of the cargo ship by the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea is a significant event with global implications. The rebels had previously threatened to target Israeli ships over Israel's actions towards Hamas. Last week, Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi issued a statement vowing to seize shipping in the Red Sea. Israel has denounced the hijack and accused Iran of being behind the attack, but Iran has denied these allegations.