A cargo ship from Turkey bound for India has been hijacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. The ship was carrying around 25 crew members belonging to various nations. Houthis had claimed they seized an Israeli ship, which was denied by Israel. Information from the office of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also indicated that no Indians were on board the “Galaxy Leader”.
Confirming the hijack, the Israeli Defence Forces posted on X, formerly Twitter: “The hijacking of a cargo ship by the Houthis near Yemen in the southern Red Sea is a very grave incident of global consequence. The ship departed Turkey on its way to India, staffed by civilians of various nationalities, not including Israelis. It is not an Israeli ship.”
The hijacking of a cargo ship by the Houthis near Yemen in the southern Red Sea is a very grave incident of global consequence.
The ship departed Turkey on its way to India, staffed by civilians of various nationalities, not including Israelis. It is not an Israeli ship.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 19, 2023
“Israel strongly condemns the Iranian attack against an international vessel. The ship, which is owned by a British company and is operated by a Japanese firm, was hijacked with Iran guidance by the Yemenite Houthi militia,” read a post on X from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.
“We took an Israeli cargo ship to the Yemeni coast,” news agency AFP quoted a Houthi official as saying. A maritime source in the coastal city of Hodeida said the ship had been taken to the port city of Salif, reported AFP.
“Onboard the vessel are 25 crew members of various nationalities including Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Filipino and Mexican. No Israelis are onboard,” Israel Prime Minister’s Office posted.
This is another act of Iranian terrorism and constitutes a leap forward in Iran’s aggression against the citizens of the free world, with international consequences regarding the security of the global shipping lanes.
— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) November 19, 2023
“The Bahaman-flagged vessel is registered under a British company, which is partially owned by Israeli tycoon Abraham Ungar, who goes by Rami. The vessel was leased out to a Japanese company at the time of the hijacking,” reported The Times of Israel.
The Houthis, backed by Iran, have vowed to target Israel-linked vessels in the Red Sea. “The Yemeni Armed Forces… confirm they will continue to carry out qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression stops,” read a Houthi military statement aired on the rebels’ Al-Masirah TV earlier this month.
The Houthis had seized Yemen’s capital Sanaa in 2014 and control large swathes of the country.
Earlier, they carried out strikes in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which conducted a military campaign against the rebels.