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Israeli shipping line ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE: ZIM) says it will re-route vessels to avoid the Arabian and Red Seas amid threats to Israeli-linked ships in the region by the Yemen-based Houthi militant group.
The announcement comes after at least three ships have been targeted in the past week or so.
The company issued a statement Monday reiterating its continued commitment to serving the East Mediterranean and Israeli ports amid Israel’s war with Hamas.
“Operations to and from these ports will be maintained with the highest regard for safety protocols which are essential to safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders,” the company said.
However, the company said that in light of the threats, it is taking “temporary proactive measures” to ensure the safety of its crews, vessels, and customers’ cargo by re-routing some of its vessels, which will result in longer transit times.
“ZIM is closely monitoring the situation to address potential risks and ensure the ongoing safety and efficiency of its operations,” the statement said.
The announcement comes after a series of attacks on internationally-trading ships linked to Israeli businesses after Houthi’s leader threatened further attacks on Israel and Israeli ships in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab.
“Our eyes are open to constantly monitor and search for any Israeli ship in the Red Sea, especially in Bab al-Mandab, and near Yemeni regional waters,” Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in a broadcasted speech on November 14.
On November 19, the Galaxy Leader car carrier was hijacked by the Houthis and taken to Yemen’s Hodeidah port area along with its 25 crew members. The ship is still being held. Over the weekend, the chemical tanker Central Park was boarded by armed assailants in the Gulf of Aden, prompting a response from the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mason. Five individuals now described as being of Somali nationality were captured in the incident, raising questions about the origin of the assailants. Following the rescue, two ballistic missiles were fired towards the Mason and Central Park, but the missiles landed in the water about 10 miles from the vessels.
In addition, on November 24 the Maltese-flagged M/V CMA CGM SYMI was reportedly attacked by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the Indian Ocean, but did not sustain serious damage.
All three ships have links to Israel.
At least one ZIM ship, the MV ZIM Europe has been identified as re-rerouting down the west coast of Africa, presumably around the Cape of Good Hope, during a voyage from the U.S. East Coast to Port Klang, Malaysia.
Since Hamas’ brutal October 7 attack on Israel, U.S. Navy destroyers have shot down missiles and drones launched from Yemen on at least two other occasions.
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