On Sunday, Israel announced that a British cargo ship operated by a Japanese company had been seized by the Yemeni Houthis. The incident was described as an “Iranian act of terrorism” with consequences for international maritime security.
The Houthis, a rebel group close to Tehran, have been attacking Israel with long-range rockets and drones in support of the Palestinian militant movement Hamas. In response to the latest attack, the leader of the Houthis announced that their forces would continue to target Israel, including Israeli ships in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb strait.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized that the unnamed ship had been hijacked and stressed that it was not owned or operated by Israel, and there were no Israeli citizens on board. However, this did not stop the Houthis from warning again on Sunday that they would target “all ships” linked to Israel.
Jahja Sarea, their military spokesman, said on Twitter that it was a response to “Israeli-American aggression” and meant ships flying the Israeli flag or operated by Israeli companies. He also called on countries not to allow their nationals to work on these ships or cooperate with them.