- Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed to have captured a cargo ship and taken its 25 crew members hostage on Sunday on one of the world's most crucial shipping routes in the Red Sea off Yemen's port city of Hodeida.1
- The rebels argue the seizure of the Bahamas-flagged 'Galaxy Leader,' which is allegedly Israeli-owned, is a reaction to the 'heinous acts against our Palestinian brothers in Gaza and the West Bank.'2
- However, Israel claims the hijacked freighter was a British-owned and Japanese-operated vessel on its way from Turkey to India and had a range of nationalities, but none was Israeli.3
- The Associated Press reported that ownership details in public shipping databases link the ship's owners to Ray Car Carriers, a company founded by Israeli businessman Abraham 'Rami' Ungar.4
- Meanwhile, Japan said the Galaxy Leader was operated by Japanese shipping firm Nippon Yusen, adding that Tokyo had directly approached the Houthis as well as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Israel, and Iran.5
- On Monday, Iran's foreign ministry rejected the Israeli accusations of Tehran's involvement in the hijacking and claimed that 'resistance groups in the region act independently and spontaneously based on their interests.'6
- Pro-Iran narrative, as provided by PressTV. By accusing Iran of being the mastermind behind the hijacking of the Israeli-linked freighter, Tel Aviv is merely trying to conceal the regional dimension of Muslim resistance against Israel's devastating aggression in Gaza. The hijacking of the ship underlines that the Houthis are an autonomous force serious about fighting alongside the Palestinians. If Israel wants to avoid total defeat and an incalculable regional expansion of the conflict, it must stop its campaign of collective punishment immediately.
- Anti-Iran narrative, as provided by The Jerusalem Post. The hijacking of this freighter is the latest episode in the broad regional campaign by Iranian-backed proxies to threaten Israel's existence. Iran is now building on its questionable expertise in hijacking free world cargo ships in the Red Sea. Since Tehran has yet to face any consequences, it's now using its dangerous Houthi forces to escalate the Gaza war and jeopardize world trade. It's time the international community puts Iran and its proxies in their place to prevent a regional escalation.