Houthis on a Red Sea beach near Bab al-Mandab (Reuters)

Houthi Ansar Allah leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi called on ships to raise a banner "We have nothing to do with Israel" when sailing in the Red Sea.

Al-Houthi said in a tweet on the X platform that "the Yemeni armed forces are attacking ships heading to Israel only, with the aim of stopping the terrorist and criminal Israeli aggression and lifting the siege on Gaza."

In solidarity with the Gaza Strip, which has been subjected since the seventh of last October to an Israeli aggression that resulted in the death of more than 22,<> martyrs, the Houthis targeted with missiles and drones shipping ships in the Red Sea owned and operated by Israeli companies and transporting goods to and from Israel.

On December 18, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the formation of a naval task force called "Guardian of Prosperity" that includes 10 countries, including one Arab country, Bahrain, to counter attacks in the Red Sea.

Maritime trade accounts for 70 percent of Israel's imports, and 98 percent of its foreign trade passes through the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Trade across the Red Sea contributes 34.6 percent to Israel's economy, according to Israel's Finance Ministry.

Source : Al Jazeera