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Houthis force Israel-bound ship to change course

The ship was seized in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and diverted to Yemen.

Houthis protest against airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Sanaa in September 2015. Photo by Henry Ridgwell/VOA via Wikimedia Commons.
Houthis protest against airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Sanaa in September 2015. Photo by Henry Ridgwell/VOA via Wikimedia Commons.

Iran-backed Houthi terrorists on Thursday compelled an Israel-bound container ship to change course, Qatar’s Al Jazeera network reported, citing a Yemeni navigational source.

“The Houthis are forcing a container ship that was on its way to Israel to change its course. The ship that was stopped was on its way to the ports of Yemen,” the official said.

The ship was reportedly seized in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which divides the Arabian Peninsula from the Horn of Africa, and diverted to Yemen’s Hodeida port.

Separately on Thursday, a missile fired from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen missed a container ship traveling through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the Associated Press reported, citing a U.S. official.

The missile hit the water near the Maersk Gibraltar, a Hong Kong-flagged container ship that had been traveling from Salalah, Oman, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Maersk, which is based in Denmark and operates the world’s largest container shipping business, called the recent attacks in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait “extremely concerning” in a statement cited by Reuters.

“The current situation puts seafarer lives at risk and is unsustainable for global trade. As it cannot be solved by the global shipping industry on its own, we call on political action to ensure a swift de-escalation,” the company stated.

The Houthis are continuing to target international commercial shipping lanes off the coast of Yemen.

Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, the Houthis have also fired several ballistic and cruise missiles at the Jewish state.

Israel has bolstered its naval presence in the Red Sea area in response to the attacks.

Houthi rebels in Yemen “have crossed a red line in the Red Sea,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog said on Wednesday.

“The U.S.-led international activities against the Houthi terror-pirates must be bolstered and strengthened in the form of a truly international coalition,” the president continued his tweet.

“Under the direction of their totalitarian commanders in Tehran, the Houthis’ continued acts of terrorism and piracy against ships of all nationalities and ownerships require the entire international community to act, united, forcefully and decisively to stamp out this vile threat to the global economy and trade.”

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