The G7 foreign ministers called on Yemen's Houthi rebels to "immediately stop threatening shipping" and release the crew of the cargo ship they seized in the Red Sea ten days ago.
"We call on all parties not to threaten or impede the legitimate exercise of navigational rights and freedoms by all ships," the G7 ministry said in a statement. "In particular, we call on the Houthis to immediately cease attacks on civilians and threats to international shipping lanes and merchant ships, and to release Galaxy Leeder and its crew illegally detained in international waters on 19 November," they added.
The Houthis, Iran's allies, captured this merchant ship with its 25 crew members in response to Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza, which itself was launched by the Palestinian movement's unprecedented bloody attack on Israeli soil on Oct. 7.
The Houthis, who hijacked the ship with Bulgarians on board, posted a video of a victory dance
Galaxy Leeder is operated by a Japanese shipping company but owned by a British company owned by an Israeli businessman. The ship flies the flag of the Bahamas. Its crew includes citizens of Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Philippines, Romania and Mexico.
The attempt to seize the Central Park oil tanker, belonging to an Israeli-linked company, was thwarted Sunday in the Gulf of Aden by the U.S. destroyer Mason, whose crew arrested the five suspected attackers, believed to be Somali pirates. Last Friday, another ship linked to Israel was slightly damaged in the Indian Ocean by an Iranian-made drone with Shahed explosives without injuring herself.
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Stop threatening shipping