Israel prepared to act against Houthi rebel efforts to disrupt Red Sea shipping, security adviser says
Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi stated on Saturday that Israel is ready to take action against Houthi rebels in Yemen if the international community fails to do so. This comes after reports of Houthi rebels targeting merchant ships with alleged Israeli links.
Hanegbi revealed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had spoken with US President Joe Biden and European leaders about the Houthi’s actions. Hanegbi emphasized that Israel is giving the world time to organize and prevent the naval disruption, but if a global arrangement does not materialize, Israel will take action to remove the naval siege.
The Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, have been engaged in a civil war against a Saudi Arabia-backed coalition since 2014. Their maritime activities have increased since a recent attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7.
US warships have been involved in protecting shipping in the Red Sea, with reports of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles shot down by a US warship in the southern Red Sea.
Amid these developments, the US has been discussing ways to increase security in the Red Sea with members of the Combined Maritime Forces, a multi-national naval task force charged with protecting commercial shipping in the region.
Hanegbi also discussed the ongoing military operations in Gaza, stating that the US has not given Israel any deadline to complete the operations. He emphasized that Israel will take whatever time is necessary to achieve their goals in Gaza.
US officials expect Israel’s operation targeting the southern end of the strip to last several weeks before transitioning to a lower-intensity, hyper-localized strategy. The White House has expressed deep concerns about how Israel’s operations will unfold over the next several weeks.
Hanegbi further stated that the Hamas leadership did not expect the scope of Israel’s response to their assault on southern Israel on October 7, and that Israel is getting very close to the control and command centers of Hamas in Gaza.
This is a developing story and will be updated.