Israel attacked a humanitarian boat carrying medical supplies and staff to Gaza. CNN correspondent Karl Penhaul was aboard the 60-foot pleasure boat Dignity when the patrol boat rammed the vessel, causing extensive damage.
The Dignity was flying the flag of Gibraltar and carrying crew and 16 passengers, including physicians from Britain, Germany and Cyprus and human rights activists from the Free Gaza Solidarity Movement. Former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney was also on board.
The boat later docked in the Lebanese port city of Tyre with severe damage was visible to the forward port side of the boat, and the front left window and part of the roof had collapsed. It was flying the flag of Gibraltar.
The captain said there was no warning before the attack and that an Israeli officer radioed them later to stay that they were rammed because they were involved in terrorist activities. A spokesman, however, said that the boat was told that the area was a closed military area and says that the collision was accidental.
The boat was in international water about 90 miles off Gaza.
In a written statement, the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast, based in Atlanta, Georgia, said McKinney “has taken it upon herself to commit an act of provocation . . . We regret that during this time of crisis, while Israel is battling with the terrorist organization of Hamas and defending its citizens, that we are forced to deal with Ms. McKinney’s irresponsible behavior.”
In the meantime, the United Nations has complained that Israel is not allowing sufficient medical and humanitarian supplies into Gaza. According to Aidan O’Leary of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA at least 62 civilians have been killed in Israeli air strikes since Saturday. UNRWA has called for Israel to open more border crossings to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza.
For the full story, click here.