A cargo ship sailing from Turkey to India was hijacked by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, claimed the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in a statement Sunday. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office called it an act of Iranian “terrorism”.“Israel strongly condemns the Iranian attack against an international vessel,” read a statement from the office of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.“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,” it added.
The hijacking of a cargo ship by the Houthis near Yemen in the southern Red Sea is a very grave incident of global consequence.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 19, 2023
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 vessel, Galaxy Leader, was transporting vehicles from Korfez, Turkey to Pipavav in Gujarat when it was captured en route in the Red Sea.This comes a month after a US Navy warship shot down drones and cruise missiles fired from Yemen which appeared to be heading for Israel. On Sunday, US officials told NBC that they were monitoring the situation. The Houthis, an insurgent group that controls most of the northern part of war-torn Yemen, had earlier declared war against Israel amid the conflict with Hamas.Earlier on Sunday, Yahya Sarea, a Houthi spokesperson, said the group would target all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or carrying the Israeli flag.On Sunday, the Yemen-based group had in a statement on Telegram, urged all countries to withdraw citizens working on the crews of these ships to avoid shipping on or handling these vessels.Earlier on Sunday, Yahya Sarea, a Houthi spokesperson, said the group would target all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or carrying the Israeli flag.
On Sunday, the Yemen-based group had in a statement on Telegram, urged all countries to withdraw citizens working on the crews of these ships to avoid shipping on or handling these vessels.Galaxy Leader is owned by a British company, operated by a Japanese firm, and registered under the flag of the Bahamas.