Yemen's Houthi rebels seize Israeli-owned ship

Houthi rebels from Yemen seize Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Red Sea

by Niresh Eliatamby 20-11-2023 | 5:54 AM

Colombo (News 1st) - Houthi rebels from Yemen have seized an Israeli-owned cargo ship, the Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader, in the Red Sea, taking 24 crew members hostage and threatening to escalate the Middle East crisis, Israeli media reported.

The ship has been taken to a port in Yemen.

The Israeli government has responded by blaming Iran, which supports the Houthis and has threatened to widen the Gaza conflict if Israel does not cease military operations.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's office said none of the crew members are Israeli, and the crew includes Bulgarians, Philippinos, Mexicans and Ukrainians.

More than 13,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have died since fighting erupted six weeks ago.

The Houthis two weeks ago announced that they were declaring war on Israel and have fired dozens of missiles and drones at Israel, some of which have been shot down by U.S. warships in the Red Sea. None of the Houthi attacks have reached Israel.

Israel has refused to accede to repeated global calls for a humanitarian ceasefire. The majority of Palestinians killed have been women and children, and the UN says over 100 of its aid workers have also been killed.