Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has allegedly told President Biden that his country will act militarily against Yemen’s Houthi movement if the United States fails to do so, according to a report by Israeli publication N12News.
The Iran-aligned group has been harassing Israeli and U.S. forces in the Middle East since the start of Israel’s war with Hamas.
N12News posted on X Saturday that Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s national security chief of staff, told journalists Amit Segal and Ben Caspit about its intention to respond to the group that has attacked and seized several Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab strait, a sea lane through which much of the world’s oil is shipped.
The group has also fired ballistic missiles and armed drones at Israel.
“Tzachin Hanegbi to Amit Segal Ben Caspit: Netanyahu informed Biden…- if you don’t act against the Hutus, we will act militarily,” the post on X reads.
Fox News Digital requested but did not receive comment from the White House, the State Department or Netanyahu’s office.
The claims come after three commercial vessels were attacked in the Red Sea last week, prompting a U.S. warship to shoot down multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) headed toward them.
USS Carney was in the southern Red Sea, just north of the Bab al-Mandab Strait on Dec. 3, when it shot down three Houthi drones heading in its direction, a U.S. official recently told Fox News, adding that the action was taken in self-defense. The drones were launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, the official claimed.
There were no injuries to any of the crew members on the commercial vessels.
The Houthis, which rule much of Yemen and its Red Sea coast, also seized a British-owned cargo ship last month that had links with an Israeli company.
The Treasury Department on Thursday announced sanctions on 13 individuals and entities responsible for providing funds to the Houthis in Yemen. These sanctions aim to cut funds off to those who facilitate Houthi attacks.
Houthi officials say their actions are a show of support for the Palestinians.
Israel has said attacks on ships are an “Iranian act of terrorism” with consequences for international maritime security.
A Houthi military spokesperson said all ships sailing to Israeli ports are banned from the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.
“If Gaza does not receive the food and medicine it needs, all ships in the Red Sea bound for Israeli ports, regardless of their nationality, will become a target for our armed forces,” the spokesperson said in a statement contained in a Reuters report on Saturday.
Reuters and Fox News’ Danielle Wallace, Andrea Vacchiano, Lucas Y. Tomlinson and Liz Friden contributed to this report.