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Houthis threaten to attack Israel-bound ships

News Desk || risingbd.com

Published: 12:03, 10 December 2023  
Houthis threaten to attack Israel-bound ships

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels threatened to carry out attack on any vessels heading to Israeli ports unless food and medicine were allowed into the besieged Gaza Strip.

The latest warning comes amid heightened tensions in the Red Sea and surrounding waters following a series of maritime attacks by Houthi rebels since the start of the Israel-Gaza war on October 7.

In a statement posted on social media on Saturday, the Houthis said they “will prevent the passage of ships heading to the Zionist entity” if humanitarian aid is not allowed into Hamas-ruled Gaza.

The Houthis have recently attacked ships they claim have direct links to Israel, but their latest threat expands the scope of their targets.

Regardless of which flag ships sail under or the nationality of their owners or operators, Israel-bound vessels “will become a legitimate target for our armed forces”, the statement said.

Hamas welcomed the rebels’ “courageous and bold” decision.

“We call on Arab and Muslim countries to use all their capabilities, based on their historical responsibilities and in the spirit of chivalry, to lift the siege of Gaza,” it added in a statement.

Last week, the Houthis attacked two ships off the Yemeni coast, including a Bahamas-flagged vessel, claiming they were Israeli-owned.

And last month, the rebel forces seized the Galaxy Leader, an Israeli-linked cargo vessel.

(With inputs from AFP)

Dhaka/AI