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Ships Broadcasting ‘No Contact’ With Israel Safely Transit Red Sea

Above photo: EPA.

Yemeni armed forces say that Israeli, US, and British-linked ships are legitimate military targets.

Member of the Yemeni Ansarallah resistance movement’s Supreme Political Council, Mohammad Ali al-Houthi, said on 21 January that dozens of commercial vessels not linked to Israel or bound for Israeli ports have been allowed to pass safely through the Red Sea.

“You can visit the Tanker Trackers website, which specializes in tracking ships, to know that the simplest solution for ships to pass safely while crossing the Red Sea is to announce the phrase ‘We have no relation to Israel’ on their automated identification system,” Houthi said.

“This solution has proved its effectiveness, as 64 ships safely passed through the sea by saying this phrase,” he added.

Senior Ansarallah official Muhammad al-Bukhaiti said on 19 January that Russian and Chinese vessels transiting the Red Sea will be safe, as long as they are not associated with Israel.

Houthi’s comments come days after it was reported that several ships, including vessels from China, Cameroon, and Singapore – among other states – had transmitted the message ‘We have no relation to Israel’ on their identification systems to avoid being attacked.

Earlier this month, Saudi tanker Desert Rose wrote VL NO CONTACT ISRAEL on its identification system as it transited the Red Sea.

Since November, Yemen’s Armed Forces and Ansarallah have seized one Israeli-linked vessel, and have targeted over a dozen other ships, either owned by Israelis or Israeli firms, or en route to Israeli ports.

The operations are a show of solidarity with the Palestinian resistance, which Sanaa has vowed to continue until the war and siege in Gaza come to an end.

Yemen has repeatedly clarified that they will not target any ship that is not Israeli-linked or headed for Israeli ports.

“We reiterate that there is no ban on any ship except those linked to the criminal Zionist enemy or those heading to its ports in occupied Palestine,” Ansarallah spokesman Muhammad Abdel Salam said on 16 January.

However, a series of violent attacks launched this month against Yemen by Washington and London have placed US and British vessels in a precarious situation.

Several US ships have already been attacked by Ansarallah and the Yemeni army in response to recent US and British airstrikes on Yemen, as well as in response to an earlier US attack in late December, which killed ten Yemeni naval officers.

“Our operations will include American and British ships, and [US-UK] aggression will not change our position,” Ansarallah leader Abdel Malik al-Houthi said on 18 January.

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