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Japan condemns Hijack of Cargo Ship by Yemen Houthi Rebels

Tuesday, November 21, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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Japan condemned the seizure of a Japanese-operated cargo ship by Houthi rebels, though the militia claimed it was Israeli. The vessel, named Galaxy Leader, was operated by Nippon Yusen (NYK Line), a Japanese shipping company. Despite claims by the rebels, Israel denied the ship's Israeli ownership.

Houthi representatives asserted that the ship's seizure was part of an ongoing "battle at sea." The rebels previously threatened Israeli ships in response to actions by Hamas militants. However, Israel's involvement in this incident was dismissed.

The ship was carrying a crew of 25 members when it was seized near Hodeida, Yemen, on its way to India. Yemen's Houthi spokesman mentioned that the ship was taken to a Yemeni port, alleging it was Israeli. This incident follows escalating tensions involving retaliatory actions between Israel and Hamas, resulting in casualties and ongoing conflict in the region.

The U.S. reported intercepting missiles and drones launched by the Houthis toward Israel. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) condemned the ship's seizure as a significant global incident, describing the ship's route from Turkey to India and its capture near Yemen.

The Houthis have been engaged in a prolonged conflict with Yemen's official government, supported by Saudi Arabia, since 2014. The ship's crew reportedly includes individuals of various nationalities, and the vessel's ownership involves an Isle of Man-registered company with Israeli ties.

Japan, the U.S., and other concerned nations have urged the immediate release of the ship and its crew. They've strongly condemned the seizure, describing it as a violation of international law.

This incident unfolds amidst ongoing tensions in the region, with various stakeholders emphasizing the need for the swift and safe release of the ship and its crew.

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