On Sunday, Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized a Japanese operated vehicle carrying ship in the Red Sea as it was in transit from Turkey to India.
The vessel, named the Galaxy Leader, is of Bahamian registry and reportedly owned by Ray Car Carriers of the United Kingdom, which is partially owned by Israeli billionaire Abraham Ungar. There is no indication of any citizens of Israel being on board at the time of the hijacking.
Media reports have stated that the ship was breached by helicopter.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement after the seizure saying, “This is another act of Iranian terrorism which expresses a leap forward in Iranian aggression against citizens of the free world and creates international implications when it comes to the security of global shipping routes.”
The Houthis are well-known to be a proxy of the regime in Tehran and have been recently launching long-range weapons at Eilat in support of the Hamas terror group in Gaza.
According to the organization’s Telegram channel, a Houthi spokesperson announced that they will attack any Israeli owned, flagged, or staffed ship that they come in contact with.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno strongly condemned the terrorist acts in a press conference, and said that Tokyo was appealing to Saudi, Omani, and Iranian authorities to ensure the release of the captives.
In 2021, the MV Helios Ray, owned by Unger, suffered an explosion in the Gulf of Oman. No injuries were reported in the blast, but officials in Jerusalem at the time suggested that Iran was likely responsible for the attack.
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