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  • Friday, 19 April 2024
Houthis Ban Ships from Israel, U.S., and UK in Support of Palestinians

Houthis Ban Ships from Israel, U.S., and UK in Support of Palestinians


Yemen's Houthi rebels issued a formal notice today, announcing a ban on vessels associated with Israel, the United States, and Britain from navigating the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Arabian Sea. The move aims to bolster their military efforts in solidarity with Palestinians amid ongoing tensions in the region.


The announcement follows reports of a missile attack that ignited a cargo ship off Yemen's southern coast, highlighting the escalating conflict in the area. Houthis, backed by Iran, have launched numerous drone and missile strikes targeting maritime routes since November, disrupting a significant portion of global shipping traffic and forcing ships to take longer routes around Africa.


In an unprecedented move, the Houthis' newly-established Humanitarian Operations Coordination Center sent notices to shipping insurers and firms outlining the ban on ships owned by Israeli, American, or British entities, or sailing under their flags. This directive underscores the Houthis' commitment to prevent vessels with ties to these countries from traversing the region.


A senior Houthi official emphasized that the Humanitarian Operations Center aims to ensure the safe passage of ships unrelated to Israel, highlighting their focus on coordinating peaceful maritime activities in the region.


The recent attack on a UK-owned cargo ship en route to Egypt from Thailand, coupled with retaliatory strikes by U.S.-led coalition forces, underscores the volatile situation in the area. Despite international efforts to deter Houthi aggression, attacks on cargo ships have continued, raising concerns about the safety of maritime traffic in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.


While no ships have been sunk, the fate of vessels like the Rubymar, struck by a missile on Feb 18, remains uncertain. The Houthis claim the ship is at risk of sinking, heightening tensions in the region, while U.S. defense officials maintain that it remains afloat.


As tensions persist and maritime security concerns escalate, the ban imposed by the Houthis signals a significant development in the ongoing conflict, with implications for global shipping and regional stability.


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