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‘We will not tolerate threats and attempts to attack Eilat,’ says Israeli defense minister

Gallant tells Israeli Navy to be prepared 'for any command' against any threat

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on board the “Sa’ar 6 Missile Ship” (Photo: Ariel Hermoni/IMoD)

Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant met with Israeli Navy commanders and soldiers currently operating near the southern city of Eilat on Wednesday.

Gallant was briefed on operational and intelligence activities during his visit with Navy Commander VADM David Saar Salama, and was informed about the Navy’s preparations against any aerial and naval threats on the Red Sea.

The Yemen-based Houthi militia group has conducted multiple attacks on ships traveling through the Red Sea, as well as drone and missile attacks targeting Israel since the war began between Israel and Hamas in early October.

The situation escalated on Dec. 3 when the Iranian-backed rebel group damaged three commercial vessels, including American warship USS Carney, leading multiple international shipping companies to halt the passage of their vessels through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

The defense minister also spoke to the Israeli Navy staff currently onboard the Sa’ar 6 missile ship regarding the need to be prepared to act against any threats – both near and far – to vessels sailing by the Gulf of Eilat.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on board the “Sa’ar 6 Missile Ship” (Photo: Ariel Hermoni/IMoD)

“The threat to freedom of navigation in the Straits of Bab el-Mandeb, 2,000 kilometers from the State of Israel, is not only a threat on traffic to Israel but also to international freedom of navigation in waters belonging to all countries,” Gallant said.

The Houthis have carried out multiple attacks against vessels in the Red Sea, including the Norwegian vessel STRINDA on Dec .12 and the Galaxy Leader cargo ship in mid-November, and have threatened to continue the attacks until the demise of Israel.

On Monday, the U.S. announced the launch of Operation Prosperity Guardian, “a new multinational security initiative” to combat numerous attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen on “international trade and maritime security in the Red Sea.

“I would like to thank my friend, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, whom I hosted in Israel a few days ago, for leading – on behalf of the United States – the multinational force tasked with ensuring freedom of navigation for all, in the Strait of Bab al Mandab.”

“I have met the men and women in our Navy, the officers and commanders. We will not tolerate threats against the State of Israel,” stated Gallant following his visit.

“If they continue to provoke us, try to attack Eilat with missiles or by other means, we will know what to do. We are preparing - the troops here are ready for any mission and any command. The State of Israel, through the Navy and the Air Force, will know how to defend itself,” he added.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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