Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets across the country to express their solidarity with Palestinians in the face of the relentless Israeli air and ground onslaught on the Gaza Strip last Friday, calling for a permanent ceasefire in the besieged coastal territory.
Protests were held in the capital Saan’a, northern provinces of Hajjah and al-Jawf, western provinces of Hudaydah and Dhamar, central provinces of al-Bayda, and Ma’rib and the southwestern province of Ta’izz.
The participants held up pictures of leader of the Ansarullah resistance movement, Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, and carried banners in condemnation of Israeli crimes against Gazans, where Israeli strikes have killed more than 20,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, since October 7.
They also chanted slogans of anger directed at Israel and its staunchest military and diplomatic backer, the United States.
The Yemeni demonstrators also pledged to confront any act of aggression against their homeland.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, highlighted that Yemeni Armed Forces will not hesitate to strike any country that would open up its airspace for US-led military strikes against the Arab nation.
Houthi told Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television news network on Thursday night: ‘Any country that would clear its airspace for enemy fighter jets to bomb Yemen will be dealt with properly.
‘Yemeni Armed Forces are working to overcome challenges as they launch missile strikes against the occupying Zionist entity.’
He went on to state that the US-led maritime task force in the Red Sea was primarily formed to protect the best interests of Tel Aviv, and had no relation whatsoever with protecting international sea navigation as claimed by Washington and its allies.
Houthi stressed that Yemeni forces will continue to target Israeli-owned and Israel-bound ships in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and pose no threat to other merchant vessels cruising in the waterway.
The senior Yemeni official added that the US supports the Israeli genocidal war in Gaza, demanding all parties who feel insecure in the Red Sea and seek security to work for complete cessation of Israeli atrocities.
The leader of Ansarullah says Yemeni Armed Forces will not hesitate to target US warships in the Red Sea if the vessels launch military strikes against Yemeni soil.
‘The United States is militarising the Red Sea, and adversely affecting international maritime traffic.
‘Yemenis won’t ever stand idly by if Yemen comes under strikes by the US or any other country.
‘All options are on the table to respond to any possible American act of aggression,’ Houthi pointed out.
He also advised Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates not to side with Israel against those who support Palestinian people, terming it as ‘morally unacceptable’ for Riyadh to stay neutral in the face of the calamities unfolding in Gaza.
Yemenis would not like Saudi Arabia to participate in any alliance that would support Israel, Houthi underscored.
The senior Yemeni official also said that Israel is posing serious threats to the future of Saudi Arabia, commending Egypt’s decision not to take part in the US-led alliance in the Red Sea.
More shipping firms have decided to avoid the Red Sea although the US has created a naval coalition purportedly aimed to safeguard shipping after Yemen’s retaliatory attacks on Israel-linked vessels.
On Thursday, the Norwegian shipping company Gram Car Carriers, which specialises in pure car truck carriers, said its vessels were restricted from passing through the Red Sea.
Moreover, the German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd also said it would reroute 25 ships by the end of the year to avoid the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. The firm also vowed to take further decisions at the end of the year.
The latest developments show the shipping companies’ lack of trust in the US which launched a multinational operation to allegedly safeguard trade in the Red Sea.
The leader of the Yemeni Ansarullah resistance movement, Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, said the US is trying to militarise the Red Sea, stressing that Yemeni forces will continue to target Israeli-owned and Israel-bound ships in support of Palestinians.
Yemen has said that the military units would target all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or carrying the Israeli flag, in support of Palestinians amid Israel’s onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long violence against Palestinians.
Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed 20,057 Palestinians and injured more than 53,320 others.
Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble in Gaza, which is under ‘complete siege’ by Israel.
As Israel continues its genocidal war on Gaza despite the Yemeni retaliatory threats, maritime authorities and shipping ministries, including those of Norway and Greece, warned against sailing in the area.
Earlier, the French shipping group CMA CGM, the Belgian oil tanker firm EURONAV, the Taiwanese container shipping line EVERGREEN, the Norway-based oil tanker group FRONTLINE, the South Korean container shipper HMM, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) have decided to pause shipping via the Red Sea.
Those companies that made similar decisions also include the Norwegian shipping company HOEGH AUTOLINERS, the Danish shipping company MAERSK, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the Norwegian shipping group WALLENIUS WILHELMSEN, the Taiwanese container shipping company YANG MING MARINE TRANSPORT, and Ocean Network Express (ONE), a joint venture of Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha.
Some of those firms also temporarily stopped accepting Israel-linked cargo.
Attacks by Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement in protest at the Israeli regime’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip, have reportedly crippled operations at the port of Eilat at the southern tip of the occupied Palestinian territories.
Eilat has suffered a whopping drop in activity since the movement began targeting the vessels that would use the key Bab al-Mandab Strait in the Red Sea to reach the port, Reuters reported last Thursday, citing the port’s chief executive.
The strait hosts 40 per cent of the international trade transit.
Several international shipping giants have been cancelling sending their ships through Bab al-Mandab since Ansarullah and Yemen’s Armed Forces vowed to target the ships that could use the strait to reach the occupied territories.
The Yemeni forces say they would stop targeting the vessels only if the Israel regime ended its ongoing war on Gaza and siege of the Palestinian coastal sliver.
The Yemeni attacks have reportedly inflicted three billion dollars in damage on the Israeli economy by increasing the price of the goods that are imported to the occupied territories three times.
Last Monday, the US Pentagon announced a military coalition of 10 countries, including the United States, Britain, and Spain, to counter the Yemeni attacks.
‘If…the coalition countries and Israel lag in finding a solution’ for Ansarullah’s attacks, ‘unfortunately, we will likely have to furlough workers,’ Eilat port CEO Gideon Gobler concluded.
The leader of Ansarullah has said Yemen’s Armed Forces would not hesitate to target US warships in the Red Sea if Washington and its allies carried out military strikes against Yemen.