Houthi rebels launch dramatic footage of Red Sea cargo ship hijack

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have launched dramatic footage of a hijack involving armed males dropping down from a helicopter onto the deck of an Israeli-linked cargo ship within the southern Red Sea.

The Iran-backed insurgent group mentioned it might proceed to focus on ships linked to Israel, including that they’re “treating the ship’s crew in accordance with Islamic principles and values”.

No Israelis had been aboard the Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader which is operated by a Japanese firm with crew members from the Philippines, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Mexico, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s workplace earlier mentioned.

The hijack has raised fears that regional tensions heightened by Israel’s battle on Hamas are spilling into the seas.

The footage, launched by TV channel Al Masirah a day after the ship was hijacked, confirmed a number of armed males in black camouflage leaping from the helicopter onto the ship’s deck, earlier than heading in the direction of the helm and taking its 25 crew members hostage.

The Houthi group was quoted by Al-Jazeera as saying that it captured the vessel in response to “heinous acts against our Palestinian brothers in Gaza and the West Bank”.

Israel, nonetheless, says the seized ship was British owned and Japanese operated. Japan’s authorities additionally confirmed the ship was leased and operated by the Japanese firm Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) and was transporting vehicles. “We strongly condemn such activity,” mentioned the nation’s chief cupboard secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.

The ship is registered within the identify of a British firm and part-owned by an Israeli businessman, based on experiences. Ownership particulars in public transport databases related the ship’s house owners with Ray Car Carriers, based by Abraham “Rami” Ungar, one in all Israel richest enterprise tycoons, reported the Associated Press.

Houthi fighters seize cargo ship within the Red Sea off Yemen coasts

Mr Ungar informed the company he was conscious of the incident however couldn’t remark as he awaited additional particulars.

Meanwhile, Tehran issued an announcement denying involvement within the ship’s seizure, a day after Israel accused Iran of backing the confiscation.

A Houthi fighter holds up a pistol within the cargo space of the Galaxy Leader cargo ship within the Red Sea on this photograph launched November 20, 2023

“We have said multiple times that resistance groups in the region act independently and spontaneously based on their interests and that of their people,” Iran’s overseas ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani mentioned on Monday. Israeli claims had been aimed toward diverting consideration away from Israel’s “irreparable defeat” in its battle towards Hamas militants within the Gaza Strip, he added.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s workplace issued an announcement referring to the incident as an “Iranian act of terrorism” with penalties for worldwide maritime safety.

Houthi fighters seize cargo ship within the Red Sea off Yemen coasts

“This is another Iranian act of terrorism that represents an escalation in Iran’s belligerence against the citizens of the free world, with concomitant international ramifications vis-a-vis the security of global shipping routes,” his workplace mentioned.

The US denounced the transfer by the Houthi group as a violation of worldwide legislation and demanded the fast launch of the vessel and its crew.

“The Houthi seizure of the motor vessel Galaxy Leader in the Red Sea is a flagrant violation of international law,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller informed a briefing. “We demand the immediate release of the ship and its crew and we will consult with our allies and UN partners as to appropriate next steps.”

Additional reporting from the companies

Source: independent.co.uk