Shipping firms avoid Red Sea amid Yemen’s attacks on Israel-bound vessels

2023-12-18 20:44:46
Shipping firms avoid Red Sea amid Yemen’s attacks on Israel-bound vessels

A growing number of companies have decided to pause shipments through the strategic Red Sea as Yemen's military is targeting vessels bound for the Israeli-occupied territories in support of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Osama Rabei, the head of Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA), said in a statement that 55 vessels had changed their course from the Red Sea and navigated through the Cape of Good Hope on the Atlantic coast of South Africa since November 19, when the Yemeni Armed Forces and the popular Ansarullah resistance movement warned to target Israeli-affiliated ships in the area in response to the occupying regime's incessant shelling of Gaza.

Oil giant BP announced on Monday that it had temporarily stopped its shipping operations via the Suez Canal after Yemen's growing attacks on commercial vessels.

"The safety and security of our people and those working on our behalf is BP's priority," the company said. "In light of the deteriorating security situation for shipping in the Red Sea, BP has decided to temporarily pause all transits through the Red Sea."

The Swiss-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MCS) and France's CMA CGM announced on Saturday that they had rerouted their services and suspended passage of their cargoes through the Red Sea, joining Danish giant Maersk and German carrier Hapag-Lloyd in avoiding the strategic waterway.

China’s Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) also stopped cargo acceptance to and from the Israeli-occupied territories until further notice “due to operational issues.”

Evergreen, the Taiwanese container transportation and shipping company, said it had temporarily suspended import and export services in Israel until further notice, citing the security risk, in addition to halting journeys via the Suez Canal.

"We ask for your understanding under these serious circumstances," the container ship firm told its clients.

In a recent development on Monday, spokesman of Yemen’s armed forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree confirmed attacks on two ships in the Red Sea earlier in the day “in solidarity with the Palestinian people in light of the aggression against Gaza.”

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