Two ships change course as Yemeni forces captured Israeli-owned vessel
Glovis Star and Hermes Leader, two ships identified as commercially handled by Ray Car Carriers, diverted their course away from the Red Sea on Sunday.
According to shipping data and the British maritime security firm Ambrey, two commercial ships that redirected their route in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are linked to the same marine group whose vessel was captured by the Yemeni Armed Forces on Sunday.
Glovis Star and Hermes Leader, two additional ships identified as commercially handled by Ray Car Carriers, changed their sailing paths on Sunday, Ambrey said on Monday.
Reportedly, 52 people aboard the Israeli ship, presumably a vehicle carrier, were detained, Al Mayadeen's sources said, adding that the Yemeni Armed Forces were working on revealing their identities and nationalities.
The seized ship, the Galaxy Leader, is linked to a British company, according to media reports, which is partially owned by the Israeli businessman Abraham Ungar, commonly known as "Rami", and chartered by Japanese firm Nippon Yusen.
Here's everything you need to know about Abraham "Rami" Ulgar, the Israeli businessman who partially owns the company running the #GalaxyLeader that was seized by the #Yemeni Armed Forces today in the #RedSea.#Palestine pic.twitter.com/lFOa2FJaeC— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) November 19, 2023
According to Tokyo-based Nippon Yusen KK, the Galaxy Leader was a car carrier and the firm is currently unaware of its whereabouts.
On Monday, Japan's senior government spokesperson acknowledged the detention, saying that Japan was appealing to the Yemenis and requesting the assistance of Saudi, Omani, and Iranian authorities to work for the vessel and crew's immediate release.
The Hermes Leader had set a course to sail south of Nishtun in Yemen when it diverted its journey.
According to Ambrey, "The vessel continued to sail back to where it had come from, providing a new AIS destination as Hambantota, Sri Lanka," adding, "The vessel incurred a minimum four-day business disruption and sailed an additional 1,876 nautical miles."
As for the Glovis Star, it meandered for many hours in the Red Sea before continuing its trip, according to AIS ship monitoring data on Monday.
When queried about the other two vessels diverting, a corporate spokesperson stated that the firm would not comment more on "political issues".
Yemeni army 'real challenge' for 'Israel'
Commenting on the incident, a spokesperson for the Israeli occupation's army described the Yemeni operation as "a very serious event."
Israeli media said that Yemenis "continue to challenge Israel and have taken control of an Israeli ship," confirming that "the ship belongs to the Israeli businessman Rami Unger, was carrying cars, and was making its way from a port in southern Turkey to a port in western India."
The seizure of Galaxy Leader, despite possibly not having an Israeli crew, signifies a major blow to Ungar's interests. This incident has sent shockwaves through the Israeli business community, highlighting the vulnerabilities faced by Israeli-owned assets in contentious regions.
Earlier on Sunday, Yemeni Armed Forces Spokesperson Yahya Saree said the army would target all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or ones bearing the Israeli flag, calling on countries to withdraw their citizens operating on such ships.
In the same context, a Yemeni military source revealed to Al Mayadeen earlier the Yemeni Armed Forces' readiness to target any Israeli vessel, whether in the Red Sea or any other place unexpected by the enemy.