G7 foreign ministers called Wednesday on Iran-backed Huthi rebels to cease threats to international shipping and to release a vessel they seized earlier this month.

"Emphasizing the importance of maritime security, we call on all parties not to threaten or interfere with lawful exercise of navigational rights and freedoms by all vessels," a statement released by G7 chair Japan read.

"We especially call on the Houthis to immediately cease attacks on civilians and threats to international shipping lanes and commercial vessels and release the M/V Galaxy Leader and its crew, illegally seized from international waters on November 19," it added.

The Huthis have launched a series of drone and missile strikes targeting Israel since Hamas militants poured over the border into Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping about 240.

Gaza's Hamas government says that almost 15,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Israel's retaliatory ground and air operation.

On November 19, Huthis seized Israeli-linked cargo vessel the Galaxy Leader and its 25 international crew at the entrance to the Red Sea.

On Sunday, two ballistic missiles were launched from an area controlled by Huthi rebels in Yemen, landing around 10 nautical miles from US destroyer the USS Mason, according to the Pentagon.

The USS Mason and other allied ships were responding to the boarding of a tanker ship off the Yemeni port city of Aden by five armed people -- believed to be Somalis -- who fled in a small boat and were detained, the Pentagon said.