Israel said on Sunday that the Houthis, Yemen’s Hezbollah-backed rebels, had seized a British-owned and Japanese-operated cargo ship in the southern Red Sea, describing the incident as “an act of Iranian terrorism” with consequences for international maritime security. In the crew on board the ship, consisting of 25 people from different countries, there is also a Romanian, reports Reuters.
UPDATE: MAE specifications
“On November 19, the ship Galaxy Leader, under the flag of the Bahamas, which was sailing in the Red Sea, was captured by the Houthi militias and taken near the coast of Yemen, and according to the initial information, among the crew members were and a Romanian citizen”, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The MAE states that a crisis cell has been activated.
“On the order of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Interinstitutional Crisis Cell was activated, and the standard procedures for such cases involving Romanian citizens were started. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Interinstitutional Crisis Cell, in cooperation and coordination with the other Romanian authorities with attributions in the matter and in close connection with other international partners, continues to monitor the situation with maximum attention and undertakes steps to resolve it.”
The Houthis also reported seizing a ship in the area, but described it as Israeli. “We treat the ship’s crew in accordance with Islamic principles and values,” a spokesman for the group said.
The Houthis, an ally of Tehran, have launched long-range rockets and drone salvos at Israel in solidarity with Palestinian militants Hamas fighting in the Gaza Strip.
Japan’s government spokesman confirmed the capture of the Nippon Yusen-operated ship Galaxy Leader on Monday, adding that Japan is appealing to the Houthis while seeking the help of Saudi, Omani and Iranian authorities to quickly release the ship and its crew.
“Yesterday (Sunday), we received information that the car carrier Galaxy Leader, operated by Nippon Yusen, was captured by the Houthis while sailing south in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen,” the spokesman said. of the Japanese government, Hirokazu Matsuno.
“The government strongly condemns such an act,” he added.
Galaxy Leader is owned by a company registered under Ray Car Carriers, headquartered in the Isle of Man, which is a unit of Tel Aviv-incorporated Ray Shipping, according to LSEG data. The companies could not be reached for comment.
Japan’s Nippon Yusen, also known as NYK, said it had set up a task force to gather more information, including the safety of the 25-man crew, who are from Romania, the Philippines, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Mexico. . The vessel, a car carrier, was en route to India from Europe without cargo, a spokesman said.
Last week, the Houthi leadership said their forces would attack Israel again and could target Israeli ships in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.
The US is monitoring the situation, a defense official said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said a vessel – which he did not name – had been seized. There were no Israelis on board and Israel was not involved in its ownership or operation, his office said.
“This is another act of Iranian terrorism that represents an escalation of Iran’s aggression against citizens of the free world, with concomitant international ramifications regarding the security of global sea lanes,” his office said.
Yemeni rebels said on Sunday that all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or flying the Israeli flag could be targeted.
Editor : M.I.