The Houthi militia, which is loyal to Iran, arrested the Jews of the Kharif District in Yemen, some 30 miles from the capital Sanaa, as part of a series of ethnic cleansing and looting of a number of sects and groups carried out by the Houthis, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Mesryoon reported Sunday. Al-Mesryoon was taken over by the Egyptian government in 2018 and added to the governmental Akhbar El Yom Foundation.
The official Egyptian outlet cited local sources in Kharif confirming that the Houthi militia had arrested the Jews of Kharf and imprisoned them because they belonged to the Jewish religion. They are now being pressed to leave Yemen.
The sources indicated that before placing them under arrest, the Houthi militia coerced the Jews of Kharif to sign pledges to sell their homes, land, and all their properties at nominal prices to Houthi leaders, and then leave Yemen.
The sources indicated that the Houthis practiced the most heinous human rights crimes against devout Jews, cut their water and electricity, and blocked their food supplies on a number of occasions, a method the Houthi militia perpetrates against all Yemenis who reject Shiism, be they Sunni Muslims—the country’s majority, or refuse to abandon their religion, as in the case of the Yemenite Jews.
According to a 2017 report, there are about 50 Jews remaining in Yemen, all of them in Kharif.
The Houthi movement, officially called Ansar Allah (Supporters of God) and colloquially simply Houthis, is an Islamic political and armed movement that emerged from Sa’dah in northern Yemen in the 1990s. The movement was called Houthis because its founder is from the Houthi tribe. Under the leadership of Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, the group emerged as an opposition to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, whom they charged with massive financial corruption and criticized for being backed by Saudi Arabia and the United States at the expense of the Yemeni people and Yemen’s sovereignty. Hussein was killed in Sa’dah in 2004 along with a number of his guards by the Yemeni army, sparking the Houthi insurgency in Yemen. Since then, except for a short intervening period, the movement has been led by his brother Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.
In 2014–2015, the Houthis took over the government in Sanaa and have gained control of most of the northern part of Yemen’s territory. Since 2015, they have been fighting the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen that seeks to restore the internationally recognized Yemeni government. The Houthis have launched repeated missile and drone attacks against Saudi cities, widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.