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Yemeni forces seize Israeli ship in Red Sea, detain 52 crew onboard

The file photo shows the ‘Galaxy Leader’ ship owned by Israel.

Yemen’s Armed Forces have seized an Israeli ship and detained dozens of its crew members in the Red Sea following warnings by the Yemeni Ansarullah resistance movement that the popular force will target any Israeli ship crossing the country’s territorial waters.

Lebanon's Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network reported on Sunday that the Yemeni naval forces "succeeded in detaining an Israeli ship in the depths of the Red Sea."

Fifty-two people who were on board the ship were arrested, the report said.

The news network said the ship’s crew and those on board are currently under investigation and their nationalities are being verified by the relevant Yemeni agencies.

Israeli media confirmed the regime’s ownership of the confiscated ship. The vessel goes by the name of ‘Galaxy Leader.’ The media said its entire crew members had been detained by Yemen’s naval forces in the south of the Red Sea.

Brigadier General Yahya Saree, the spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, announced earlier in the day that the military units would target all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or carrying the Israeli flag. Yemen’s move, he said, is in support of Palestinians amid Israel’s savage onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Saree also called on all countries to withdraw their citizens working as crews on any such vessels.

In a televised speech broadcast live on November 14, the leader of Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement called on Arab countries and the Muslim world to adopt a clear stance in the face of Israel’s atrocities in Gaza.

Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said the Yemeni forces are keeping a watchful eye on any Israeli ship in the Red Sea, and in the Bab el-Mandab Strait in particular, as well as Yemeni territorial waters.

Houthi said the Israeli occupation “did not dare raise Israeli flags on its ships in the Red Sea.”

“They camouflage, which indicates their fear and the effectiveness of our position.”

‘Israeli ships to be legitimate targets’

Later on Sunday, Yemen's official Saba Net news agency cited Saree as saying in a video statement that the Yemeni armed forces had carried out a military operation in the Red Sea, the results of which was the seizure of the Galaxy Leader and the detention of its crew members.

Saree underlined that the operation was carried out on the directives of the Ansarullah chief and in response to the demands of the great Yemeni people and based on “religious, humanitarian and moral responsibility towards the oppressed Palestinian people and the unjust siege they are subjected to.”

“With the continuation of the horrific and heinous massacres by the Israeli enemy, the naval forces of the Yemeni armed forces, with the help of God Almighty, carried out a military operation in the Red Sea, the results of which were the seizure of an Israeli ship and taking it to the Yemeni coast,” the statement said.

“The Yemeni armed forces deal with the ship’s crew in accordance with the teachings and values of the Islamic religion.” 

Saree renewed the warnings of Yemen’s Armed Forces that, “All ships belonging to the Israeli enemy or dealing with it will become a legitimate target.”

The spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces called on all countries, whose nationals work in the Red Sea, to refrain from any work or activity with Israeli ships or ships owned by the occupying regime. 

The Yemeni Armed Forces affirmed their "continuation of carrying out military operations against the Israeli enemy until the aggression against the Gaza Strip stops, and the heinous crimes continuing until this moment against our Palestinian brothers in Gaza and the West Bank stop," the statement said.

It said the Zionist entity is the one threatening the security and stability of the region and international corridors, and that the international community, if it is keen on the security and stability of the region and not expanding the conflict, must stop the Israeli onslaught on Gaza.

The statement also said the operations of Yemen’s Armed Forces only threaten the ships of the Israeli regime and those owned by Israelis.

Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance groups of Hamas and Islamic Jihad carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm into the occupied territories in response to the occupying regime’s intensified crimes against the Palestinian people.

According to the Gaza-based health ministry, at least 12,300 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes, most of them women and children. Nearly 30,000 Palestinians have also been injured.

Tel Aviv has also imposed a “complete siege” on Gaza, cutting off fuel, electricity, food and water to more than two million Palestinians living there.

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