Houthis Enforce Embargo on Ships Heading to or Leaving Israel

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Image: picture alliance/AP Photo/H. Mohammed

The Ansar Allah, also called the Houthis, who lead the Yemeni government in the capital Sana’a, declared that they had forced an Israel-bound ship to turn back on December 10 as it was sailing through the Red Sea in violation of warnings issued a day before.

On December 9, the Yemeni government announced that it would not allow any ships bound for or returning from Israel to pass through the Bab el-Mandab, the narrow strait that links the Red Sea with the Arabian Sea. It said this would be the case until Israel ended its genocidal war on Gaza and lifted its blockade on the besieged Palestinian territory. Yahya Sare’e, the spokesperson of the Yemeni armed forces, had declared on December 9 that they would target such ships irrespective of their nationality.

Sare’e, however, said that ships destined for Gaza with humanitarian supplies would be allowed to pass through. He also said that ships not destined for Israel or the occupied Palestinian territories could continue their commercial activities as before.

In November, the Houthis had said that ships from Israel were legitimate targets of attack. Subsequently, they captured a ship, the Galaxy Leader, which is partially owned by an Israeli businessman, and in recent days, targeted several other ships headed to Israel.

Due to these attacks, many Israeli commercial ships have been forced to change their routes, with Israel’s Eilat port recording around 85 percent loss in its business according to the media reports. The Houthi-led government in Yemen has also fired missiles and drones targeting Eilat.


Globetrotter is an independent international news syndication service for the people of the Global South, publishing a wide range of perspectives.

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