The Houthi government in Yemen has hijacked an Israeli cargo ship in the Red Sea. This was stated by a spokesperson for the authorities in the capital Sana’a https://twitter.com/Yahya_Saree/status/1726290072994296194, after the Israeli government released the news on Sunday. There are believed to have been around 25 people on board from a range of countries including Bulgaria, the Philippines, Mexico and Ukraine. According to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office, there are no Israelis among them. It is unclear what happened to those on board.
The owner of the ship, the Galaxy Leader, is the Israeli multi-billionaire Abraham (‘Rami’) Ungar. Netanyahu’s cabinet claimed on Sunday that the owners would be British, but the public maritime register lists Ungar as the owner. Netanyahu’s spokesman spoke of an “Iranian act of terror” because the Houthis are supported militarily and financially by the Iranian government.
The Houthis, a fundamentalist movement originating from Yemen’s mountainous north, have been in power in the capital Sana’a since 2014. They have used the Gaza war to polish their international profile and to get involved in the war on behalf of the ‘axis of resistance’ (which also includes Iran, Syria, the Lebanese Hezbollah and a series of Shia militias in Iraq). Last month they fired at least six long-range missiles towards the Israeli resort of Eilat. Without much success, they were all intercepted by the Israeli anti-aircraft system ‘Iron Dome’.
As long as the ‘aggression against the Palestinian brothers’ does not stop, spokesman Yahya Sare’e threatened on X, the military actions against Israel will continue. The Houthis have never made a secret of their motives. Their slogan is ominous: ‘God is the greatest, death to America, death to Israel, cursed be the Jews, victory to Islam.’
Jenne Jan Holtland