Yemen’s Houthis say they have taken control of a cargo ship in the southern Red Sea as the war in Gaza sends tensions soaring in the region.

The Houthis, who control northern Yemen and its Red Sea coast, said the ship was Israeli, but Israel described it as a British-owned and Japanese-operated cargo vessel with no Israeli nationals on board.

Some 25 people are believed to have been on board the Galaxy Leader – reported to be partly owned by an Israeli businessman and sailing under the flag of Bahamas – when it was seized en route from Turkey to India.