The move to prohibit such ships from the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian sea came as British maritime agencies reported a missile attack set ablaze a cargo vessel off the southern coast of Yemen.

Iran-aligned Houthi militants in Yemen have launched repeated drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandab Strait and Gulf of Aden since November in support of Palestinians, as the Israel-Hamas war continues and the Gaza death toll reaches almost 30,000.

The Houthi strikes have disrupted a route accounting for about 12% of global maritime traffic and forcing firms to take a longer, more expensive route around Africa.

The Houthis' communication, the first to the shipping industry outlining a formalised ban, came in the form of two notices from the Houthis' newly-dubbed Humanitarian Operations Coordination Center sent to shipping insurers and firms.

Ships that are wholly or partially owned by Israeli individuals or entities and Israel-flagged vessels, or are owned by U.S. or British individuals or entities, or sailing under their flags, are banned from the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea, Thursday's notices said.

"The Humanitarian Operations Center was established in Sanaa to coordinate the safe and peaceful passage of ships and vessels that have no connection to Israel," a senior Houthi official told Reuters on Thursday.

The attacks have already sent shipping insurance premiums rocketing, and the Houthi agency's newly-formalised remit could further affect prices.

Also on Thursday, U.S.-led coalition forces were responding to a burning ship after two missiles struck it some 70 nautical miles southeast of Aden, Yemen, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said.

The UK-owned, Palau-flagged ship was en route to Egypt from Thailand, according to maritime security firm Ambrey and ship tracking data.

Islander is the name of the vessel, two shipping sources said.

In January, U.S. and British forces began retaliatory strikes on Houthi facilities, though the group's attacks show little sign of abating.

"If anything, Houthis attacks on cargo ships are intensifying in the Red Sea and around the Gulf of Aden," Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM wrote in a note on Tuesday.

No ships have been sunk nor crew killed, however there are concerns about the fate of the Rubymar cargo vessel which was struck on Feb 18.

The Houthis said the Rubymar was at risk of sinking but a U.S. defence official said as of Thursday the ship remained afloat.

(Reporting by Nayera Abdallah, Ahmed Elimam, Tala Ramadan and Jana Choukeir in Dubai, Jonathan Saul, Natalie Grover and Robert Harvey in London and Mohammed Ghobari in Aden; writing by Nayera Abdallah and Paul Carsten; editing by Micheal Georgy, Jason Neely, William Maclean)