Latest India News | India-bound ship hijacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in Red Sea: Report | World News

Israel’s government said on Sunday that Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen hijacked a cargo ship in the Red Sea, endangering a key global shipping route.

There were no Israelis among the ship’s 25 crew members, it said.(Representational)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office condemned the seizure of what it said was a vessel owned by a British company and operated by a Japanese firm, without naming either of those. 

There were no Israelis among the ship’s 25 crew members, it said.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have threatened to strike Israel since its war against Palestinian militant group Hamas began in early October, and has launched failed missile attacks that were believed to have targeted Israel. Sunday’s incident marks the first big escalation in the threat posed by Houthis against global maritime shipping since the latest conflict began.

Hours earlier, Houthi rebels in Yemen said they would target ships carrying the Israeli flag as well as those operated by or belonging to Israeli companies. A Houthi spokesman, posting on X, called on other countries to withdraw citizens working on Israeli vessels.

The rebel group is based in Yemen, allowing it to stage attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea. In January of 2022, Houthis hijacked a United Arab Emirates-flagged cargo ship carrying supplies for a Saudi Arabian hospital.

Houthis are believed to be getting training, technical expertise and increasingly sophisticated weapons — including drones, ballistic and cruise missiles — from Iran.

Netanyahu’s office blamed Sunday’s attack on the government in Tehran, which it said is endangering global shipping lanes. Iran hasn’t commented on the incident.

The Israeli government said the ship’s crew members include people from Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Philippines and Mexico. Israel’s army said the vessel was on its way from Turkey to India at the time of the attack.