The Houthis in Yemen have imposed a naval commercial blockade on Israel

The United States is considering various options, including the use of military force, to lift this maritime blockade. Israel is actively involved in the Gaza Strip conflict but is also preparing for a potential military response to the naval blockade.

American National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is set to discuss this issue with the Israeli War Cabinet during his visit.

The Houthis’ actions are seen as a result of Iran’s influence, coinciding with ongoing missile and drone attacks on Israel following the Gaza conflict.

The White House has proposed the possibility of establishing an international naval force to escort merchant ships in the Red Sea in response to Houthi attacks.

The U.S. has increased its military presence in the Red Sea, considering military strikes against the Houthis.

However, the U.S. aims to avoid escalation and doesn’t want the Gaza conflict to turn into a regional war.

President Biden is cautious about expanding the conflict with Iran and the Houthis, understanding Iran’s role in supporting the group.

There’s pressure on Saudi Arabia to participate in the international naval force, with Russia opposing such involvement. Israel, having military capabilities, is currently relying on diplomatic efforts, urging the U.S. and the international community to address the issue.

Israeli officials emphasize that the Houthi threat extends beyond Israel, impacting international shipping lanes.

Israel has discussed the matter with President Biden and European leaders, expressing willingness to give time for a diplomatic solution.

However, if no resolution is achieved, Israel may take action to remove the naval blockade.

The situation draws historical parallels to the Six Day War when Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran, leading to conflict. Israel is evaluating various options, including holding Iran accountable for its support of the Houthis, leveraging undisclosed methods.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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