Houthi rebels seized the ship with 22 crew members. The kidnapping took place in northern Yemen, in the Red Sea region, south of the Egypt-Sudan border.
The ship left a port in southern Turkey for a port in western India loaded with vehicles. According to some reports, the rebels have captured it and are now checking the nationalities of the crew members. Although initial reports said it was an Israeli-owned vessel, it later appears to have been sold to a Japanese company. There were no Israelis on board, the IDF said, marking the most serious incident on the international scene.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s office “strongly condemned the Iranian attack on an international ship.” “The ship, owned by a British company and operated by a Japanese company, was hijacked by Houthi militias in Yemen at the behest of Iran. The ship had 25 crew members of various nationalities, including Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Filipinos and Mexicans. There were no Israelis on board,” he said in a statement.
“This is another act of Iranian terrorism that represents a step forward in Iran’s aggression against the citizens of the free world,” he added.
Last week, a spokesman for the Houthi forces said all Israeli ships were targeted by pro-Iranian Shiite militias, including Israeli ships flying Israeli flags, ships owned by Israel and ships bound for or bound for Israel.
Houthi attacks against the Jewish state have increased in recent weeks, amid Israeli retaliation in the Gaza Strip. The country has been the target of several drone and missile attacks from Yemen, including ballistic missiles intercepted by Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 systems.
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