Israeli Navy Attacks Civilian Mercy Ship
Yesterday's press release:
Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship! TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!
The Dignity, a Free Gaza boat on a mission of mercy to besieged Gaza, is being attacked by the Israeli Navy in international waters. The Dignity has been surrounded by at least half-a-dozen Israeli warships. They are firing live ammunition around the Dignity, and one of the warships has rammed the civilian craft causing an unknown amount of damage. Contrary to international maritime law, the Israelis are actively preventing the Dignity from approaching Gaza or finding safe haven in either Egypt or Lebanon. Instead, the Israeli navy is demanding that the Dignity return to Cyprus - despite the fact that the ship does not carry enough fuel to do so. Fortunately, no one aboard the ship has yet been seriously injured.
There are 15 civilian passengers representing 11 different countries (see below for a complete list). At approximately 5am (UST), well out in international waters, Israeli warships began surrounding the Dignity, threatening the ship. At 6:45am (UST) we were able to establish brief contact with the crew and were told that the ship had been rammed by the Israeli Navy in international waters, and that the Israelis were preventing the ship from finding safe harbor. We heard heavy gunfire in the background before all contact was lost with the Dignity.
It is urgent that you TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!
CALL the Israeli Government and demand that it immediately STOP attacking the Dignity and endangering the lives of its passengers!
CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
+972 2670 5354 or +972 5062 3264
CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
+972 33697 5339 or +972 50629 8148
The Dignity departed from Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 7pm (UST) on Monday 29 December, bound for war-devastated Gaza with a cargo of over 3 tons of desperately needed medical supplies donated by the people of Cyprus. At our request, the ship was searched by Cypriot Port authorities prior to departure, to certify that there was nothing "threatening" aboard - only emergency medical supplies.
TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY TO STOP THE ISRAELI NAVY FROM ENDANGERING THE DIGNITY AND ITS PASSENGERS!
passengers include, among others, surgeons, journalists, and politicians, including former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.