Houthi Official: Attacks On Ships In The Red Sea Are Part Of Religious Obligation To Extend Support To Muslims In Their 'Jihad Against The Jews'

December 18, 2023

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On December 17, 2023, Al-Masirah TV channel, which the official outlet of Yemen's Iran-backed Ansar Allah Movement (the Houthis) posted a video on Telegram featuring an interview with Houthi spokesman Muhammad Abdulsalam, who is also the head of the National Delegation for the Peace Talks in Yemen.[1]

In his statement, Abdulsalam reiterated the Houthis' support for Gazans, emphasizing that the attacks on ships sailing in the Red Sea are meant to increase the economic cost of the war on countries that are supporting Israel.

Religious, Moral, And Nationalist Obligations To Support Gazans

In the interview, Abdulsalam discussed the Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea. He said that they are part of a religious, moral, and nationalist obligation to extend support to the Gazans and to Muslims in their "jihad" against the "Jews" [i.e., Israel].

He said: "Morally, no human being, who is a believer [in God] or has a bit of humanity, can stay silent watching Israeli crimes in Gaza."

Nationalistically, he added that Yemen considers Israel as an "existential threat to the Ummah (nation) as an entity, and to countries and their people.

"And anyone who does not see Israel as so, then they must be misled by the American deception. Israel is a real threat to the unity of the Islamic nation," he noted.

Economic Warfare

Discussing the Houthi intervention in the war with Israel, he claimed that the Houthi attacks on vessels in the Red Sea have forced approximately 55 ships to change their routes. He boasted that the attacks have raised the costs of insurance and transportation for these ships.

"This is in addition to the fact that [some] companies announced that they will pause naval shipments, including companies from Denmark, France, Japan, and Israel."

He also singled out a Chinese company, which he did not name, saying it stopped shipping to and from Israel.

On December 17, news reports said that Chinese container carrier OOCL had decided to suspend all shipments to and from Israeli seaports.[2]

A person on a video chat with a ship in the waterDescription automatically generated




[1] Telegram, December 17, 2023.

[2]Maritime-executive.com/article/oocl-decides-not-to-serve-israel-for-operational-reasons#:~:text=Chinese%20container%20carrier%20OOCL%20has,sentence%20statement%20on%20its%20website, last accessed December 18, 2023.

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