Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have hijacked a cargo ship in the Red Sea amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, putting a major global shipping route at risk. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office blamed the Tehran government for Sunday’s attack, which it said was endangering global shipping lanes.
The Israeli government said on Sunday that Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen hijacked a cargo ship in the Red Sea. The Israeli government said the ship’s crew members included people from Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Philippines and Mexico.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office condemned the seizure, saying it was a ship owned by a British company and operated by a Japanese firm, without naming anyone. It said that none of the ship’s 25 crew members were Israeli.
Houthi rebels had threatened to attack Israel
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have threatened Israel and launched unsuccessful missile attacks since the war against Palestinian militant group Hamas began in early October. In this case, it is believed that he had targeted Israel. Sunday’s incident marks the first major increase in the threat posed by Haiti against global maritime shipping since the latest conflict began.
Hours earlier, Houthi rebels in Yemen said they would target ships carrying the Israeli flag as well as ships operated by or belonging to Israeli companies. A Houthi spokesman posted on Twitter calling on other countries to take back citizens working on Israeli ships.
Houthi rebels get help from Iran
The rebel group is based in Yemen, which allows it to attack commercial ships in the Red Sea. In January 2022, the Haitian group hijacked a UAE-flagged cargo ship carrying supplies for a hospital in Saudi Arabia.
Haitians are believed to be receiving training, technical expertise and increasingly sophisticated weapons from Iran. These include drones, ballistic and cruise missiles. Netanyahu’s office blamed the Tehran government for Sunday’s attack, which it said was endangering global shipping lanes.
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