Twitter capture of @GazaNewsPlus broadcast by the Yemeni armed forces

Israeli ship taken hostage in response to Gaza strikes, shocking images

INTERNATIONAL – Yemen’s Houthi rebels seized a commercial ship belonging to an Israeli businessman in the Red Sea on Sunday, November 19, in retaliation for the war waged by Israel against their Palestinian ally Hamas in the Gaza Strip. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the ship was owned by a British company and operated by a Japanese group. Thus, Israel, Japan and the United States condemned the seizure of the building.

Japan announced this Monday, November 20 that it would move closer to the Houthis in Yemen. Japan “communicates with Israel and, in addition to direct contacts with the Houthis, we urge Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran and other relevant countries to insist that the Houthis quickly release the ship and crew members »» declared Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on Monday.

The Houthis released footage of the operation to seize the ship, as you can see below.

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Nippon Yusen, also known as NYK Line (Japan), confirmed to AFP on Monday that it operates the Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader: “The Galaxy Leader, a car-carrying ship we charter from the company, has been captured” near the coast of Hodeida, western Yemen.

The Japanese company said it had formed a special team to collect information and ensure the safety of the 25 crew members. And the Japanese government condemned “firmly” the capture of this ship, while specifying that no Japanese nationals were on board.

The crew processed “in accordance with the teachings and values” of the Islamic religion

The announcement of the hostage taking comes days after Iran-backed rebels threatened to target Israeli ships in this strategic sea between northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, due to the war waged by Israel against Palestinian Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“The naval forces of the Yemeni Armed Forces carried out a military operation in the Red Sea, the result of which was the seizure of an Israeli ship and its transfer to the Yemeni coast”Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said on social network X.

This entry is based “on the religious, humanitarian and moral responsibility towards the oppressed Palestinian people, subjected to an unjust siege and the continuation of the horrible and heinous massacres perpetrated by the Israeli enemy”.

The Houthis, who control much of Yemen at war, do not threaten “that vessels of the Israeli entity and those owned by Israelis”argued their military spokesperson, stressing that the crew had been treated “in accordance with the teachings and values ​​of our Islamic religion”

“Domiciliated in Israel”

According to maritime security company Ambrey, the car carrier is owned by Ray Car Carriers, a company controlled by Israeli businessman Abraham Rami Ungar, “domiciled in Israel”.

In 2021, a ship belonging to Abraham Rami Ungar, the Bahamas-flagged MV Helios Ray, was hit by an explosion in the Gulf of Oman amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran. According to the specialist site Tradwinds, the company Ray Car Carriers is registered in Great Britain.

According to the specialist site Marine Traffic, the Galaxy Leader, which also flies the flag of the Bahamas, was sailing off the Saudi port city of Jeddah, in the Red Sea, when its radar signals were cut off on Saturday.

A maritime source from the port of Hodeida (west), controlled by Yemeni rebels, indicated for his part that “The Houthis seized a commercial ship and took it to Al-Salif port in Hodeida”.

“No Israeli” on board

On the Israeli side, the army indicated that this ship had on board “civilians of various nationalities, but no Israelis.” “It’s not an Israeli ship”she pointed out.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “strongly condemned the Iranian attack on an international ship”that he described ” assault “ against the “free world” have consequences “on the security of global shipping lanes”.

“The ship, which is owned by a British company and operated by a Japanese company, was hijacked under Iranian direction by the Yemeni Houthi militia”added Benjamin Netanyahu, specifying that 25 crew members of various nationalities – Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Filipino and Mexican – were on board but “no Israeli”.

A US military source described “flagrant violation of international law” the entrance “Galaxy Leader Car Transporter” speak “Houthi rebels”. According to this source, Washington will contact its allies and the UN to gauge the measures ” appropriate “.

Reach Israel by any means

In recent weeks, Houthi rebels have launched several drones and missiles towards Israeli territory.

“The fact that eight waves of missiles and drones launched by the Houthis from Yemen failed to hit their targets in Israeli territory may have pushed (the rebels) to refocus on the Red Sea”Mohammed Al-Basha, Middle East specialist at the American analysis center Navanti Group, told AFP.

“We have our eyes open to constantly monitor and search for any Israeli vessel”Houthi leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi said in a speech on their Al-Massira channel, threatening to ” target “.

See also on The HuffPost:

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