from AHMED MOOLLA in Cairo & DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAIRO, (CAJ News) – BY disrupting Western commercial cargo vessels plying the Red Sea and the Suez Canal routes, the Yemeni militia group, Houthi, has added a new dimension to international pressure on Israel to stop its onslaught on Palestine.
Western nations, especially the United States, are the allies to Israel, whose aggression has over the past two months left more than 20 000 civilians dead, mainly women and children.
Early this week, Houthi militants issued a threatening statement insisting they would continue disrupting the international vessels that sail through the abovementioned routes owing to Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip.
“We will continue to prevent all ships heading to Israeli ports until the food and medicine our people need in the Gaza Strip is brought in,” the Houthi statement read.
“We assure all ships heading to all ports of the world apart from Israeli ports that they will suffer no harm and they must keep their identification device on.”
The disruptions by Houthi are akin to military action.
Shipping companies such as MSC, Maersk, BP, CMA CGM, among others have been forced to suspend their vessels from passing through the Suez Canal.
“The situation is further deteriorating and concern for safety is increasing,” CMA CGM expressed concern.
Following the actions by Houthi, freight firms re-routing from the Suez Canal to a two-week long journey across the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa to Atlantic Ocean.
This move has proven costly to the cargo ships.
South Africa, mentioned above is coincidentally one of the world’s most outspoken nations against Israel occupation of Palestine.
Earlier this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa, described the ongoing war in Gaza as “genocide,” insisting only a ceasefire would be acceptable worldwide.
“People around the world are responding with horror to what they see in Gaza. This should stop now. Hostages must be released and so must the prisoners who are being held in Israeli prisons be released to create a conducive environment for peaceful discussions,” Ramaphosa said.
South Africa insists what Palestinians are going through at the hands of Israel is similar to South Africans’ oppression during the apartheid era.
“We do this (call for ceasefire) not out of political adventurism, for us this is a matter of principle – a principle that is born out of our own experience as a people of South Africa, who struggled against an oppressive apartheid system,” Ramaphosa said.
African citizens interviewed by CAJ News Africa in Egypt and South Africa condemned at the Zionist genocide on Palestine.
They supported the actions of the Houthi.
“Some of these barbaric gimmicks by the US to support Israeli genocide committed in full view of the world cannot go unchallenged. I concur with the Houthi militants that the best way to repel genocide is to attack businesses of such war sponsors (the United States and Israel),” Abanoub Hassan, an Egyptian activist said in Cairo.
He foresees the assault on commercial vessels in the Red Sea spilling to the Cape of Good Hope.
“This development will force those making profits through war to think twice. It’s good to also make them feel the economic heat,” Hassan said.
Already, Cape Town has been the scene of violent clashes between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestine activists.
Cape Town political activist, Magdalena Petersen, is against the US and allies in the Middle East using the Cape of Good Hope route as an alternative for vessels.
“I call upon the United States and its Middle East child – Israel not to use our Cape of Good Hope route, otherwise allowing warmongers free passage in our waters might encourage more such unwanted global wars to occur without consequences,” she said.
– CAJ News