Israel’s Eilat Port Activity Down 85% Following Red Sea Attacks

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Eilat Port in Israel has seen an 85 percent decrease in activity since Yemen’s Ansarallah group stepped up attacks on Israeli-linked shipping in the Red Sea, according to the port’s authority.

In November, the Ansarallah group announced that it would target any ship owned or operated by Israel in the Red Sea until Israel allows for food and fuel to be brought into the besieged Gaza Strip.

Eilat was one of the first ports to be affected as shipping firms rerouted vessels to avoid the Red Sea after Ansarallah disrupted the trade route through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, Reuters reported.

CEO Gideon Golber reportedly told Reuters that without Bab al-Mandab “you close the main shipping artery to Eilat Port. And therefore we lost 85% of total activity.”

Eilat Port primarily handles car imports and potash exports coming from the Dead Sea.

Zero Ships’ in Eilat a Possibility

Even though it is smaller in size – compared to Israel’s Haifa and Ashdod ports on the Mediterranean coast, which handle most of the country’s trade – Eilat allows Israel a gateway to the East without the need to traverse the Suez Canal.

“We still have a small number of ships for exporting potash, but I believe that with a destination in the Far East, they will no longer travel in that direction. So that will also go down,” Golber is quoted by Reuters as saying.

“Unfortunately, if it continues we will reach a situation of zero ships in Eilat Port.”

On Monday, Ansarallah attacked two ships, including a Norwegian-owned tanker.

Some of the world’s largest shipping companies have decided to suspend their vessels’ navigation through the Red Sea, including BP, the Taiwanese Evergreen, the Italian-Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the Danish giant Maersk, and the German company, Hapag-Lloyd.

The alternative route takes ships around the southern tip of Africa. Israeli officials have said this extends voyages to the Mediterranean by two to three weeks which will add extra costs down the line, Reuters reported.

Ansarallah Undeterred by US-led Red Sea Force

The United States and a few of its allies have announced the formation of a new military force to patrol the Red Sea in response to Ansarallah’s operations. However, no influential Arab countries have joined the alliance, which success remains in doubt considering Ansarallah’s growing military capabilities.

Mohammed Al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Ansarallah politburo, said on Monday that his group will be able to confront any coalition formed by the US that could deploy to the Red Sea. 

“Even if America succeeds in mobilizing the entire world, our military operations will not stop, no matter the sacrifices it costs us,” al-Bukhaiti said on the social media platform X.

Al-Bukhaiti added that the group would only halt its attacks if Israel’s “crimes in Gaza stop and food, medicines and fuel are allowed to reach its besieged population”.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 20,050 Palestinians have been killed, and 53,320 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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  1. I would suggest that Ansarallah add some political flavour to their pronouncements. Including references to the Genocide Convention in relation to Gaza will put the US on the back foot
    The US has never yet had to face people coming right out and saying, “We’re imposing sanctions on Israel for its crimes against humanity including genocide against the Gaza people.” I don’t think they can handle it.

  2. Why other middle east countries such as Saudi, UAE, Bahrain, did nothing on Palestine suffering…at least to cut the diplomat ties.

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