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Israeli oil tanker seized off Yemen, third in a week

The Central Park, a tanker vessel owned and managed by the UK-based Israel-linked company Zodiac Maritime (file photo)

An Israeli tanker has been seized off the coast of the Yemeni port city of Aden, the third such incident in a week after Yemen’s Armed Forces and the popular Ansarullah resistance movement warned of targeting any of the occupying regime’s ships crossing the Arab country’s territorial waters.

Media reports said the “attackers” seized the Central Park vessel, owned and managed by the UK-based Israel-linked company Zodiac Maritime, off the coast of Aden on Sunday.

The Israeli daily Haaretz said the tanker vessel was owned by the Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer, adding that the ship had left Morocco and crossed the Suez Canal on November 21, sent its last location on the 22nd from a point south of the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh.

Zodiac Maritime claimed that the attack was “a suspected piracy incident.”

“Our priority is the safety of our 22 crew onboard,” Zodiac said in a statement. “The Turkish-captained vessel has a multinational crew consisting of a crew of Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Indian, Georgian and Filipino nationals. The vessel is carrying a full cargo of phosphoric acid.”

Maritime security company Embry said communications were intercepted from a US coalition warship warning Central Park, adding that another ship in the area reported “the approach of eight people on board two boats wearing military uniforms.”

No group or individual has so far claimed responsibility for the seizure of the vessel while at least two other maritime attacks have in recent weeks been linked to the Israeli regime’s war on the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Israeli occupation army said on Saturday that the Houthi Ansarullah’s fighters had seized an Israeli-owned ship in the Red Sea, the Zim Luanda, sailing from Israel to China.

The report came after spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree published a one-word post on his X social media account, simply reading “Zim.”

The Yemeni Armed Forces also seized an Israeli cargo vessel, named Galaxy Leader, in the Red Sea on November 19, in what they said was a response to the regime’s massacre of Palestinians in Gaza. The entire 52 crew members onboard were also detained by Yemen’s naval forces in the south of the Red Sea.

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.

Saree, the spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, had earlier announced 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.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the territory’s Palestinian resistance movements waged the surprise Operation al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

The Israeli aggression has so far killed more than 15,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children.

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