Tehran has increased its aggression against Israel and the free world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after Yemen’s Houthis, an Iranian proxy group, had seized a British-owned and Japanese-operated cargo ship in the southern Red Sea.

Netanyahu immediately blamed Iran.

“We strongly condemn the Iranian attack against an international ship,” Netanyahu said. “This is another act of Iranian terrorism that expresses a leap forward in Iran’s aggression against the citizens of the free world, and creates international implications regarding the security of global shipping lanes.”

Some 25 crew members of different nationalities, including Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Filipinos, and Mexicans were onboard the ship. No Israelis were present on it. The attack came as the US and other Western powers have worked to prevent the regionalization of the Gaza war between Israel and the Iranian proxy terrorist group Hamas that perpetrated the October 7 massacre of at least 1,200 people, including at least 250 foreign nationals, with more still missing and possibly kidnapped.

At issue is the fear of a second front between Hezbollah in Lebanon, another Iranian proxy terrorist group, and a wider and more direct conflict with Iran itself.

The Houthis said they had seized a ship in that area, but described it as Israeli. “We are treating the ship’s crew by Islamic principles and values,” a spokesperson for the group said, not referring to the Israeli account. Its armed forces said on Sunday they would continue to attack Israeli ships.