Israel’s Transport Ministry on Tuesday said it was seeking to clarify Chinese shipper COSCO’s reported decision to halt shipping to Israel.
Israeli media this week reported that COSCO had suspended shipping to Israel. The company has declined to comment.
“The Administration of Shipping and Ports is working with the relevant parties to clarify the Chinese shipping company’s announcement to stop sailing to Israel,” the Transport Ministry said in response to a Reuters query.
Shipping lanes in the Red Sea have been disrupted by attacks carried out by Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen in sympathy for Hamas, the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamist group fighting Israel in the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s small port of Eilat on the Red Sea has seen a huge drop in activity since the Houthi attacks began in November, but that has had little impact on the domestic market as the country handles most of its trade via the Mediterranean.