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    Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Hijack an Israeli-Linked Ship in the Red Sea and Take 25 Crew Members Hostage

    Yemen's Houthi Rebels Hijack an Israeli-Linked Ship in the Red Sea and Take 25 Crew Members Hostage

    (AP) — Yemen's Houthi rebels seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship in a crucial Red Sea shipping route Sunday and took its 25 crew members hostage, officials said, raising fears that regional tensions heightened over the -Hamas war were playing out on a new maritime front.

    The Iran-backed Houthi rebels said they hijacked the ship over its connection to Israel and would continue to target ships in international waters that were linked to or owned by Israelis until the end of Israel's campaign against 's Hamas rulers.

    “All ships belonging to the Israeli enemy or that deal with it will become legitimate targets,” the Houthis said.

    Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the Houthis' chief negotiator and spokesman, later added in an online statement that the Israelis only understand “the language of .”

    “The detention of the Israeli ship is a practical step that proves the seriousness of the Yemeni armed forces in waging the sea battle, regardless of its costs and costs,” he added. “This is the beginning.”

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office had blamed the Houthis for the attack on the Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader, a vehicle carrier affiliated with an Israeli billionaire. It said the 25 crew members had a range of nationalities, including Bulgarian, Filipino, Mexican and Ukrainian, but that no Israelis had been on board.

    The Houthis said they were treating the crew members…

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