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In roughly 24 hours, from Dec. 14-15, three more commercial ships transiting the Red Sea were subject to attack, with two of them suffering damage. Yesterday, a missile fired from Houthi-controlled territory missed the Hong Kong-flagged container ship Maersk Gibraltar, which had been traveling from Salalah, Oman, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Then this morning, the Liberian-flagged Al Jasrah caught fire after being hit by a projectile also fired from Yemen. Ship operator Hapag-Lloyd said no members of the crew were hurt.

Then later today, the MSC Palatium III, a Liberian-flagged container ship, caught fire after it was hit by a missile.

“The Yemeni armed forces confirm they will continue to prevent all ships heading to Israeli ports from navigating in the (Red Sea) until they bring in the food and medicine that our steadfast brothers in the Gaza Strip need,” said Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree in a statement claiming responsibility for the Dec. 15 attacks.

The connections of the three vessels to Israel so far appear to be tenuous at best, but the Houthi attacks have spurred both Maersk and Hapag Lloyd to instruct their ships to pause before passing through the Bab el Mandeb Strait at the south end of the Red Sea.