Irish MEP Mick Wallace has described the recent string of Yemeni attacks on Red Sea shipping as a “humanitarian intervention”.
His comments came as MEPs were debating on January 15 possible European Union action following the US-UK airstrikes against the Houthi rebels’ bases in Yemen.
The Houthis, a Shia Islamist movement controlling the Northwest of the Middle Eastern country, first launched strikes against Red Sea shipping at the start of December last year.
The Houthi movement claims such attacks are made in solidarity with the Hamas terrorists and Palestinians in Gaza over the war with Israel.
The situation led Wallace, who sits with the Left Group, to claim that “the Houthis have made a humanitarian intervention in the Red Sea”.
He said that was an effort to “bring the genocide in Gaza to an end”, claiming Houthis had “killed nobody” in their efforts to “disrupt shipping”.
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Wallace was backed by other Left Group members, including fellow Irish MEP Clare Daly who argued “the West’s pet bulldog Israel” was currently on trial in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for alleged genocide.
That case has yet to be decided.
Israel’s lawyers accused South Africa, which brought Israel before the ICJ, of making “an attempt to weaponise the term ‘genocide’ against Israel”.
Germany referred to South Africa’s legal case as a “political instrumentalisation” of genocide against Israel.
Israel, now more than 100 days into the war, has been hammering Hamas, which governs the densely populated Gaza Strip, following its attacks on October 7 and kidnapping of Israeli civilians.
The Hamas-run Gazan health ministry claims more than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed in the ensuing conflict.
Wallace and Daly found themselves outnumbered in the relatively empty plenary chamber on January 15.
Virtually all representatives of the other EU political groups present demanded that the EU join in Western action designed to secure the safety of Red Sea shipping.
They included the German MEP Hannah Neumann who said a joint EU response to the Houthi aggression was “crucial”.
“To be honest, I’m a little surprised that it took the [European] Council so long to come up with a proposal for an EU mission,” she added.
One MEP claimed it was now necessary for an EU mission as the Houthis were causing “environmental risks”.
Luxembourg’s European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit assured the European Parliament that “further options concerning the EU maritime response will be discussed” at the European Council.