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Video: Hijackers Descend on Israeli-Linked Ship From Helicopter



We gather the news that is the most important to you. As the most reliable and balanced news service on the internet, Unite America First offers the following information published by Daily Beast:


Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen released video footage on Monday showing a group of armed individuals swooping on to the Galaxy Leader, a cargo ship that was hijacked via helicopter in the Red Sea on Sunday.


The video—released by the Houthis’ TV channel Al Masirah—shows the helicopter landing on the vessel and dropping off several men in tactical gear. The hijackers can be seen raiding the cargo ship and holding some of its 25-person crew at gunpoint over the course of the three-minute-long clip.


The Galaxy Leader is registered under a British company which is partially owned by an Israeli businessman. It flies under a Bahamian flag, and had been leased out to Japanese company Nippon Yusen at the time of the incident, according to The Times of Israel.


“All communications were subsequently lost with the vessel,” the owner of the ship, Galaxy Maritime Ltd, said in a statement to Reuters on Monday. The owner also confirmed that the ship had been “illegally boarded by military personnel via a helicopter” in the statement, adding that the crew includes citizens of Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Philippines, Mexico and Romania.





One of the crew members aboard the ship at the time of the hijacking has been identified as Bulgarian national Danail Veselinov, a 39-year-old military veteran from Gorna Oryahovitsa.

“We last spoke [by phone] on Saturday. He was calm and happy,” his wife, Sabina, told The Daily Beast. “On Sunday, he was active until 1 p.m. Most likely, they were attacked afterward.”


“I don’t know much. They said they are alive. But when they will be released is unclear,” she said, adding that she “doesn’t have the strength” to say more about the incident.



Houthi rebels said they targeted the ship because of its ties to Israel, warning that any Israeli-linked vessels will be considered “legitimate targets” until the war in Gaza is brought to an end. The Galaxy Leader was traveling from Turkey to India at the time of the hijacking.


“The detention of the Israeli ship is a practical step that proves the seriousness of the Yemeni armed forces in waging the sea battle, regardless of its costs and costs. This is the beginning,” Houthis spokesperson Mohammed Abdul-Salam said.


In a statement released shortly after news of the hijacking broke, the Israeli Defense Forces described the incident as a “very grave incident of global consequence,” adding that there were no Israeli citizens among the crew at the time. The office of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu described the hijacking as a “Iranian act of terror.”


Although Israeli officials had earlier claimed that the Galaxy Leader was not an “Israeli ship,” public shipping databases showed links between the vessel and Abraham Ungar, one of Israel’s richest men.


State Department spokesman Matthew Miller described the hijacking of the Galaxy “a flagrant violation of international law,” in a press briefing on Monday. “We demand the immediate release of the ship and its crew and we will consult with our allies and UN partners as to appropriate next steps.”



The Japanese government has also condemned the incident, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno adding that negotiation efforts with Houthi rebels were already underway on Monday.


In addition to Veselinov, another Bulgarian national was aboard the ship at the time of the hijacking: 38-year-old Captain Lyubomir Chanev.


“We have established contact with the relatives of the kidnapped,” the Chief Secretary of Bulgaria’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, Zhivko Kotsev, said Monday. “They have all the information and we have offered them psychological help. We are working on solving the crisis.”



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