Yemen’s Houthi rebels have released a video showing the hijacking of the cargo ship “Galaxy Leader”. The rebels, who had previously threatened to target Israeli ships due to Israel’s conflict with Hamas, claim that the ship is Israeli. However, Israel has denied these claims and stated that there are no Israeli citizens on board.
The ship, which was en route to India from Turkey, was hijacked yesterday. The disturbing two-minute video shows the moment of the hijack. The rebels arrived on a helicopter and landed on the ship’s deck, which was empty at the time. They then proceeded to take control of the wheelhouse and the control centre, shouting slogans and firing shots.
The crew members, caught off guard, can be seen in the video raising their hands in surrender. Meanwhile, other rebels rush through the ship, firing shots. The ship has since been rerouted to the Yemeni port of Salif port in Hodeida province, according to reports from maritime security company Ambrey and a Yemeni maritime source.
Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam has stated that this seizure is just the beginning, promising further attacks on maritime targets until Israel ends its Gaza campaign. The hijacked ship, flagged from the Bahamas, had approximately 25 crew members from various nations. It is owned by a British company linked to Israeli tycoon Abraham “Rami” Ungar and was leased out to a Japanese company at the time of the incident.
Israel has condemned the hijacking and has placed blame on Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement on X, formerly Twitter, strongly denouncing the Iranian attack as an act of terrorism. They believe this incident represents an escalation of Iran’s aggression against the international community and poses a threat to global shipping lanes. Iran, however, has dismissed these allegations.
The situation is ongoing, and further updates are expected.