(MENAFN) In a significant escalation of tensions, the Houthi government in Yemen has reported the seizure of a cargo ship, the Galaxy Leader, in the Red Sea, allegedly linked to Israel. The Bahamian-flagged vessel, operated by Japanese-based NYK Line and owned by British-based Ray Car Carriers, is associated with Abraham Ungar, one of Israel's wealthiest individuals, according to Forbes. The incident has prompted condemnation from Israel, which vehemently denies any connection to the ship, emphasizing that it was staffed by civilians of various nationalities, excluding Israelis.
The ship was reportedly captured near Hodeida, Yemen, while en route to India, with 25 crew members on board. Brigadier General Yahya Sarie, spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, stated that the navy's action was based on religious, humanitarian, and moral responsibility toward the Palestinian people facing an unjust siege. Sarie asserted that Yemen would deal with the ship's crew in accordance with Islamic teachings and values, vowing to continue military operations against Israel until aggression against Gaza ceases.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) described the incident as a "hijacking" and emphasized its global consequences, underscoring that the vessel was not Israeli. The IDF condemned the seizure as a grave incident, highlighting the civilian nature of the crew and stressing the vessel's lack of Israeli affiliation. The development adds a new dimension to the ongoing conflict in the region, raising concerns about maritime security and the potential for further escalation
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