Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim drone attack on Israel

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SANAA – Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels fired drones towards Israel on Tuesday in retaliation for its war against Hamas, a senior official from the group told AFP.

“These drones belong to the state of Yemen,” Mr Abdelaziz bin Habtour, prime minister of the Houthi government, said when asked about the launch towards Eilat in southern Israel.

The Houthis, who seized Yemen’s capital Sanaa in 2014 and control large swathes of the country, are “part of the axis of resistance” against Israel and are fighting with “words and drones”, he added.

Israel’s military earlier reported a “hostile aircraft intrusion” that set off warning sirens in the area of Eilat, a resort town on the Red Sea.

“There is no threat in this region and no danger,” Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari told a separate televised briefing.

Israel blamed the Houthis for a similar drone attack on Friday in which its aircraft intercepted “hostile targets” headed for southern Israel.

Six people were lightly injured in neighbouring Egypt when debris hit a building in the Sinai resort of Taba, just across the border from Eilat, the Egyptian army said at the time.

On Oct 19, the US Navy said it shot down three land-attack cruise missiles and “several” drones that had been fired by the Houthis, possibly at Israel.

The Houthis will release a statement later on Tuesday with more details of their involvement in the “resistance” against Israel, Mr Abdelaziz said.

Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip since gunmen from the Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked the southern part of the country on Oct 7. Israeli officials said more than 1,400 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage.

Since then, more than 8,500 people have been killed, many of them children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

Concerns are high over a regional conflagration.

Iran financially and militarily backs Hamas, and has loyalists and proxy fighters in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Teheran insists it had no involvement in the Oct 7 attack.

Since the Gaza war flared-up, there have been a string of attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria as well as almost daily exchanges of fire across the Israel-Lebanon border between Hezbollah and the Israeli army.

On Sunday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned on X, formerly Twitter, that Israel had “crossed the red lines, and this may force everyone to take action”, without elaborating. AFP

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