Photo Credit: Permanent Israel Mission to the UN
Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Shalit urged the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to deal with the “radioactive Shiite elephant in the room” at an emergency session on the increasing attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen on commercial vessels transiting the Red Sea, Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden.

“The ayatollah regime is the one thing that ties together all the elements of destruction in the Middle East,” Erdan told the Council.


“It funds, arms, trains and directs the Houthis, Hamas, Hezbollah in Lebanon, other terror groups in Syria and Iraq, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” he said. “Iran has spent decades spreading cancerous jihadism across the region.”

The Houthis (formally known as Ansar Allah) began firing combat drones and ballistic missiles at commercial shipping vessels in solidarity with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization following its invasion of Israel on October 7th. On that day, the terrorists, its allies and civilian followers launched a horrific massacre of more than 1,200 people at a nearby music festival and in dozens of villages and military bases, looting and torching the homes of those they kidnapped, tortured and slaughtered while kidnapping some 250 others, dragging them into Gaza captivity.

The Houthis vowed to attack any vessel traveling to or from Israel and made good on their word — but then further expanded their attacks to include any commercial vessel transiting the waterways near the coast of Yemen. To date the Houthis have carried out around 25 attacks, which in some cases including hijacking the vessels.

Despite the formation of a multination maritime task force (“Operation Prosperity Guardian) designed to deter and counter the attacks, the Iranian proxies have continued in their attempt to paralyze the shipping lane.

This past weekend, the Houthis attacked the Singapore-flagged Maersk Hangzhou container vessel, twice within a 24-hour period. During the first attack, the US military shot down two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis at the container ship.

The second time around, US Navy helicopters sank three of four small boats used by the terrorists in the Red Sea to attack the ship, US CENTCOM (Central Command) said in a tweet on the X social media platform.

Helicopters from the USS Eisenhower and USS Gravely responded to distress calls from the Maersk Hangzhou, returning fire and sinking three of the four boats. Ten Houthi operatives were killed. The fourth boat fled the area.

One day later, Iran sent a warship to the Red Sea, further inflaming an already volatile situation.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.