US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on Houthi rebels in Yemen on Tuesday to release Yemeni Jew Levi Salem Musa Marhabi, who has been in custody for four years.
In a statement published on the Department of State’s website, Pompeo announced: “The United States stands with the Yemeni Jewish community in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Levi Salem Musa Marhabi.”
Pompeo stated: “Marhabi has been wrongfully detained by the Houthi militia for four years, despite a court ordering his release in September 2019.”
He conveyed that: “Marhabi’s health continues to deteriorate as he languishes in a Sana’a prison, where the threat of contracting COVID-19 is a real possibility.”
“Marhabi is one member of an ever-shrinking community of Yemeni Jews, who have been an important part of Yemen’s diverse social fabric for thousands of years,” explained Pompeo.
Concluding his statement, Pompeo expressed: “We call on the Houthis to respect religious freedom, stop oppressing Yemen’s Jewish population, and immediately release Levi Salem Musa Marhabi.”
Since the outbreak of the war in Yemen, Israel has been trying to move the Yemeni Jews to Israel through different Jewish organisations.
According to Quds Press, the Jewish Agency confirmed that 400 Yemeni Jews relocated to Israel between 2011 and 2016.