Galaxy Leader cargo ship
Galaxy Leader cargo shipUruguay Port Authority

The Saudi news station al-Hadath reported on Sunday that Houthi rebels in Yemen had hijacked the "Israeli cargo ship" Galaxy Leader, which was sailing in the Arabian Gulf.

It was later clarified that the ship is under British ownership, is managed by a Japanese company, and had no Israeli citizens on board. According to the website marinetraffic.com, the ship flys under the flag of the Bahamas, and its home port is Nassau.

The Houthi military spokesman is promising an "important statement" in the coming hours.The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that it is aware of the matter.

The IDF has responded to the reports: "The hijacking of a cargo ship by the Houthis near Yemen in the southern Red Sea is a very grave incident of global consequence. The ship departed Turkey on its way to India, staffed by civilians of various nationalities, not including Israelis. It is not an Israeli ship." the military stated.

The Prime Minister's office responded: "We vehemently condemn the Iranian attack against international ships. The ship, which is under British ownership and is managed by a Japanese company, was hijacked under Iranian direction by a Houthi militia in Yemen. On board the ship there were 25 crew members of various nationalities, including Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Filipinos, and Mexicans. There were no Israelis on board. This is an additional Iranian act of terror that represents a leap forward in Iranian aggression against the citizens of the free world and creates international implications regarding international shipping routes."

Earlier on Sunday, the Houthis threatened that they would attack Israeli ships that fly Israeli flags and warned foreign countries "to remove their citizens who work on these ships, to refrain from sending packages or working on these ships, and to tell the ships to distance themselves from them."