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Houthi: Yemen to target Israel-linked ships regardless of destination

Yemen’s Ansarullah leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi says the country’s forces will target ships of any company related to supplying or transporting goods to Israel regardless of their destination.

This is a fourth stage of escalation in retaliation for “the Israeli aggression on Rafah” in the southern Gaza Strip, but Yemen is also considering a further “fifth and sixth stage”, he said in a televised speech on Thursday.

“Any ships of any company involved in supply or transporting goods to the enemy and to any destination will be targeted. Any ship transporting goods to enemy ports will be a target for us wherever our hands reach,” he said.

“When we make a decision at a certain stage, it means that we have the capabilities to implement it,” he added.

Ansarullah has been targeting Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in solidarity with the Palestinians. It says the operations will continue unless Israel stops its war and its siege on the Gaza Strip.

“We are also thinking about the fifth stage now, and we have very important, sensitive, and impactful options against the enemies,” Houthi said. “There are no red lines for us that can hinder us from carrying out our operations.”

Houthi said Ansarullah forces continue to target American, Israeli, and British ships linked to the Israeli enemy.

He said the forces carried out 25 operations in the month of Shawwal which began on April 10, during which 71 ballistic missiles and drones were launched.

Since the beginning of Yemen’s operations, 112 vessels have been targeted, he said, adding 10 ballistic missiles and drones were launched only over the past week.

Houthi described Israel as “an enemy of the Islamic Ummah”, which poses a danger and a threat to global security and peace.

“The enemy only understands the language of force, and the Ummah needs to focus on the strength of deterrence,” he said.

Houthi also called on Arab states to help stop a widening Israeli invasion of Rafah, suggesting that they allow Ansarullah use their stocks of weapons and ammunition against Israel.

“If any Arab country desires, we are ready to activate the capabilities stored in its warehouses instead of letting them rust or be misused against the enemy.

“The enemy’s escalation regarding the Rafah crossing, east of Rafah, and the expected threat to the rest of Rafah must be met with greater action at all levels,” he said.

Israel’s attack in the southern Gaza city of Rafah has expanded from airstrikes to ground attacks, CNN reported on Thursday, citing new satellite images.

The images, which bear a striking resemblance to the early stages of Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza last year, show troops are active outside the immediate border crossing area between Egypt and Gaza, which Israel occupied on Monday evening, the broadcaster said.

The buildup comes despite intense international pressure on Israel not to move in on Rafah. Aid agencies have been warning that “any ground operation would mean more suffering and death” for the 1.2 million displaced Palestinians sheltering in and around the city.

Houthi said the occupation of the Rafah crossing does not target only the Palestinian people but is also a show of force against the Egyptian people and army.

“Whenever the enemy escalates, we should escalate even more at all levels and activities,” he said, adding the Islamic Ummah needs to achieve a deterrent capability against their enemies to fend off danger.

“Events and evidence unequivocally indicate the importance of reviving conscious spiritual Jihad within the Islamic Ummah,” he said.

“Stagnation and passivity will not suffice against the enemy’s motives of hatred, greed, and dangerous beliefs.”

Houthi said with what’s happening in Gaza, “it’s astonishing that some regimes negotiate security agreements with America for protection”, apparently referring to reports that the US and Saudi Arabia were finalizing a “mega-deal”.

According to US media reports, the agreement would “tie together the futures of Saudi Arabia, Israel and Gaza”.

The Ansarullah leader said the US clearly encouraged the Israeli occupation of the Rafah crossing, prepared the conditions for it, and is a partner in all crimes of the occupying regime.

“The US pretends to pressure the enemy on Rafah after providing it with a huge stockpile of bombs and weapons.

“No one should be deceived by the American position as it is an actual partner in all the genocide crimes in Gaza and plays a primary role in the occupation of the Rafah crossing,” Houthi said.

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