Israeli Government has said no Israeli citizen was among the people kidnapped on Sunday by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels when the rebel group attacked and hijacked a cargo ship in the Red sea.
The rebels had released a video showing the hijack of cargo ship in the Red Sea on Sunday, November 19, said to be connected to Israel
It was gathered that 25 crew members were taken hostage.
The Houthis claimed they seized the ship over its connection to Israel. Israel, however, said the vessel was British-owned and Japanese-operated.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office in a statement on Monday said:
“Israel strongly condemns the Iranian attack against an international vessel.
“The ship, which is owned by a British company and is operated by a Japanese firm, was hijacked with Iran guidance by the Yemenite Houthi militia.
“Onboard the vessel are 25 crew members of various nationalities including Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Filipino and Mexican. No Israelis are onboard.
“This is another act of Iranian terrorism and constitutes a leap forward in Iran’s aggression against the citizens of the free world, with international consequences regarding the security of the global shipping lanes”.
Meanwhile, Twenty-nine premature babies arrived in Egypt on Monday, Egyptian media said, after they were evacuated from Gaza’s largest hospital which has become a focal point of Israel’s war with Hamas.
The infants were evacuated Sunday from the Al-Shifa hospital, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has described as a “death zone”, and United Nations, UN Secretary General also described as “unprecedented civilian deaths” in history as Israel seeks to uncover what it says are Hamas bases in tunnels underneath the facility.
The state-affiliated Al-Qahera News reported that the babies arrived in Egypt via the Rafah crossing, the only entry and exit point to the Palestinian territory that is not controlled by Israel.
An initial 31 babies were reportedly evacuated from Al-Shifa to another Gaza clinic and it was not immediately clear why only 29 arrived in Egypt. But reports indicated that some of the babies were evacuated to another hospital in Gaza.
Al-Qahera News said that the babies transferred on Monday were placed in incubators.
A medical source reportedly told AFP not all the infants would be able to be treated at El-Arish hospital 45 kilometres (28 miles) west of the Gaza Strip.
“There are not enough incubators at El-Arish hospital, and some babies will have to be transferred to Ismailia or Cairo,” the source said.
WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Sunday that 31 “very sick” babies were moved in a joint operation with the UN and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.
Doctors found that “all the babies are fighting serious infections due to lack of medical supplies and impossibility to continue infection control measures in Al-Shifa Hospital”, the Red Crescent said.
None of the babies had been accompanied by family members during the initial evacuation, the WHO said, as the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza was unable to locate them.