Houthis drill October 7-like raid on Israeli town, including hostage-taking

Rebel commandos burst into ‘community’ of three homes, shoot and stomp on poster of Netanyahu, then capture men dressed as Orthodox Jews before blowing up mockup

A combination photo showing Houthi rebels simulating an attack on an Israeli village, in a video aired January 13, 2024. (X video screenshots: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A combination photo showing Houthi rebels simulating an attack on an Israeli village, in a video aired January 13, 2024. (X video screenshots: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels on Saturday released a video simulating an assault by the Iran-backed rebel group on an Israeli community, similar to the October 7 Hamas-led attacks on southern Israeli communities, in which terrorists massacred hundreds of civilians.

In the propaganda clip, Houthi commandos entered a mock town of three home-like tents. They then entered one of the tents, shooting at a poster of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before ripping it down and stomping on it.

Also inside were a pair of men dressed in ultra-Orthodox garb, apparently as a caricature of Jews. The two raised their hands and were taken by the soldiers before they eventually blew up the mockup.

There did not appear to be any purpose to the exercise beyond public relations, with Israel located some 1,700 kilometers (1,056 miles) away from the Yemeni border.

The Houthi rebels — part of the regional Tehran-aligned “axis of resistance” against the United States, Israel and their allies — seized Yemen’s capital Sana’a in 2014 and now control large swaths of the country.

Yemen’s Houthis have launched a flurry of drone and missile attacks at Israel since the start of its war with Hamas on October 7, but most have failed to reach their targets and many have been intercepted.

Since November, the rebels have also repeatedly targeted ships in the Red Sea, saying they were avenging Israel’s offensive in Gaza against Hamas. But they have frequently targeted vessels with no clear links to Israel, imperiling shipping in a key route for global trade and energy shipments when supply strains are already putting upward pressure on inflation globally.

Around 12 percent of global trade normally passes through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the Red Sea entrance between southwest Yemen and Djibouti.

The attacks led several major shipping companies to suspend use of the route.

The United States and the United Kingdom launched multiple airstrikes targeting Houthi rebels on Friday in response to the attacks, with an additional strike carried out Saturday by the US against a radar site controlled by the group.

The Houthis’ military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree said in a recorded address that the strikes would “not go unanswered or unpunished.”

The war in Gaza began on October 7, when some 3,000 Hamas terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing over 240 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities. The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities amid horrific acts of brutality were civilians — including babies, children and the elderly.

The Houthis say the strikes are in solidarity with the people of Gaza, where the Hamas-run health ministry says more than 23,000 people have been killed in the conflict. However, these figures cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both Hamas terrorists and civilians, and people killed as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires.

In late October, six people were wounded in Egypt when two drones came down in Taba, which borders Israel.

The Egyptian air force earlier this month shot down a drone that had been detected over Egypt’s territorial waters, also near Dahab, though a security source said the origin of the drone was “unknown.”

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