Houthis in Yemen Launch Attacks at Six Ships in Three Seas

A container ship sails towards the Red Sea. (Reuters file photo)
A container ship sails towards the Red Sea. (Reuters file photo)
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Houthis in Yemen Launch Attacks at Six Ships in Three Seas

A container ship sails towards the Red Sea. (Reuters file photo)
A container ship sails towards the Red Sea. (Reuters file photo)

The Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen launched attacks at six ships in three different seas, including the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Laax that was damaged after reporting a Houthi missile strike off the coast of Yemen, the militias said on Wednesday.

The Laax was attacked on Tuesday. The Houthis also launched attacks against the Morea and Sealady vessels in the Red Sea, the Alba and Maersk Hartford in the Arabian Sea and the Minvera Antonia in the Mediterranean, military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a televised speech.

The Laax, which was carrying a cargo of grain, was hit by five missiles fired from Yemen, but the vessel was still able to sail to its destination and the crew were safe, the ship's security company, LSS-SAPU, told Reuters on Wednesday.

"The vessel has sustained damage, she is not taking water, she is not tilting and there are no wounded onboard," a LSS-SAPU spokesperson said.

"She is proceeding to her destination with a normal speed."

The spokesperson with LSS-SAPU, which was responsible for evacuating the crew from the Rubymar ship which sank after being hit by a Houthi missile earlier this year, said Laax's Greece based owner had no connection with Israel or the United States.

The vessel last reported its position on May 28 with a destination of Bandar Imam Khomeini in Iran, LSEG shipping data showed.

The Houthis, who describe their attacks as acts of solidarity with Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza, have launched repeated drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea region since November, later expanding to the Indian Ocean.

They promised to attack any ships sailing towards Israeli ports, even in the Mediterranean.

The group has managed to sink one ship, the Rubymar, seized another vessel, killed two crew members and disrupted global shipping by forcing vessels to avoid the nearby Suez Canal and reroute trade around Africa.



UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
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UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)

Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are suffering a drastically worsening human rights environment, alongside "unconscionable death and suffering" in the Gaza Strip, the UN human rights chief said on Tuesday.

"The situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is dramatically deteriorating," Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The West Bank, where the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule under Israeli occupation, has seen the worst unrest for decades, in parallel with the war in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas.

Turk said that from the start of the Gaza war in October through mid-June, 528 Palestinians, 133 of them children, had been killed by Israeli security forces or settlers in the West Bank, in some cases raising "serious concerns of unlawful killings".

Twenty-three Israelis have been killed in the West Bank and Israel in clashes with or attacks by Palestinians, he said.

In Gaza, Turk said he was "appalled by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law" by parties to the war.

"Israel's relentless strikes in Gaza are causing immense suffering and widespread destruction, and the arbitrary denial and obstruction of humanitarian aid have continued," Turk said.

"Israel continues to detain arbitrarily thousands of Palestinians. This must not continue."

He added that Palestinian armed groups were continuing to hold hostages, including in populated areas, which put both the hostages and civilians at risk.

Israel's permanent mission to the UN in Geneva accused Turk of "completely omitting the cruelty and barbarity of terrorism" in his address to the UN Human Rights Council.

"Hostilities in Gaza are the direct result of Hamas terrorism, decades of rocket-fire and incitement against the Jewish people and the State of Israel, culminating in its brutal attacks against Israel on October 7," the diplomatic mission said in a statement.

Israel's ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led fighters stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel's offensive has killed more than 37,400 people in Gaza, according to its health authorities, and left much of the enclave's population homeless.