“There is a need for the people of the United States to understand that every piece of rubble that is on that strip of land is caused by US weapons.”
These were the words of former U.S. Congresswoman and the Green Party candidate in the 2008 U.S. presidential elections, before Sailing yesterday to Gaza from Larnaca, Cyprus aboard the Dignity, a 66-foot yacht with supplies, medical aid and 16 passengers from Cyprus , the United States, Britain, Australia, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Iraq, Jordan, Sudan and Tunisia (find the passengers list here).
The Ship was still in international waters when she was attacked by Israeli gunboats early this morning:
“On Tuesday, December 30, at 5 a.m., several Israeli gunboats intercepted the Dignity as she was heading on a mission of mercy to Gaza. One gunboat rammed into the boat on the port bow side, heavily damaging her. The reports from the passengers and journalists on board is that she is taking on water and appears to have engine problems. When attacked, the Dignity was clearly in international waters, 90 miles off the coast of Gaza. The gunboats also fired their machine guns into the water in an attempt to stop the mercy ship from getting to Gaza,”
reported the Free Gaza Movement website, adding:
“[I]srael thumbs its nose in the face of maritime law by attacking a human rights boat in international waters and has put all of these human rights observers at risk. At no time was the Dignity ever close to Israeli waters. They clearly identified themselves and the Israeli attack was wilful and criminal. The Dignity is still in international waters, 40 miles off Haifa. Everybody on board is safe at the moment as the boat slowly makes its way to safety in Lebanon.”
Later Israeli Navy claims “they thought it was a terrorist boat,” although they were informed in advance of the plan and aim of the mercy ship.
Also: read this article by Pr. Richard Falk published yesterday on theNation.com, and which I came across thanks to Marcy Newman’s excellent Body on the Line. It is enumerating, from the stand point of international law, the crimes that Israel is committing in Gaza at the moment.
Latest : The damaged Free Gaza Movement boat Dignity has just docked in the port city of Tyre, southern Lebanon (Reuters).