A report by the Saudi Al-Arabiya outlet says that the Houthis from Yemen seized the Galaxy Leader, an “Israeli” cargo ship that was sailing in the Arabian Gulf with 22 crew members on board.
The report claims that the ship is a car carrier owned by businessman Rami Unger. No Israelis are on board.
A spokesperson for the military wing of the Houthis promised an “important statement” in the coming hours. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that they are familiar with the matter.
The IDF spokesperson responded to the report by calling it a “very severe incident on an international scale” and confirmed that the ship which was sailing from Turkey to India does not have any Israelis on board and “is not an Israeli ship.”
The ship is registered under Ray Shipping LT, which is owned by Ungar but it is currently leased to a Japanese company.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement saying: “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’s guidance by the Yemenite Houthi militia. Onboard the vessel are 25 crew members of various nationalities including Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Filipino and Mexican. No Israelis are onboard.”
“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.”
The Houthis threatened on Sunday morning that they will attack Israeli ships and called on foreign countries to “remove their citizens who work on these ships, avoid shipping or working on these ships, and inform ships to keep their distance from them.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)