A cargo ship, the Galaxy Leader, was taken over by the Houthis in the Red Sea back in November, and the crew, including 17 Filipinos, have been held captive since then. As days pass, hopes for their release are dwindling.

MSC Aries raided by Iranian commandos near Strait of Hormuz MSC Aries raided by Iranian commandos near Strait of Hormuz

“There’s really not much that can be done to influence them, because the word we get from the Houthis is … that they will keep holding the ship, and all the crewmen, until we see an end to the hostilities in Gaza,” said Eduardo de Vega, the Filipino foreign affairs official overseeing millions of Filipino migrant workers.

According to the Filipino diplomat, it seems the crew won't be freed until the conflict in Gaza settles down. The Houthis claim the fate of the sailors is now in the hands of Hamas.

The hijacking has been going on for over 116 days, and there's little sign of progress. The Houthis, supported by Iran, targeted the ship in retaliation for Israeli actions in Gaza.

The crew members are being treated fairly, with enough food and occasional calls to their families. However, they're still hostages, mainly confined to the ship.

Despite efforts by the Filipino government, led by an honorary consul in Aden, negotiations remain complex.

The situation not only affects the lives of the crew but also disrupts global shipping routes in the Red Sea.

Recent events, like a Houthi attack on another ship resulting in casualties, highlight the seriousness of the issue.

While some crew members have been able to return home, the danger persists for others navigating through the Red Sea.

Amidst the diplomatic stalemate, efforts are primarily focused on ensuring the hostages' well-being while the intricate negotiations unfold. Yet, with geopolitical complexities entangling the situation, a swift resolution seems elusive, leaving the fate of the Galaxy Leader crew hanging in uncertainty.