At 10 am cypriot time, a ship flying the flag of Gibraltar was rammed by surrounding Israeli gunboats. The Dignity is carrying 3 tons of aid and passengers from around the world. Journalists (including CNN’s Karl Penhaul), human rights activists, doctors and US representative Cynthia McKinney. Shots were fired into the water by the Israeli Navy.
The ship was rammed in international waters, 90 miles off the Gaza coast, and is said to be taking on water. There are no reported injuries to the passengers on board. Lebanon has granted a permission to dock and will lend assistance. (Free Gaza website)
SS Dignity has docked in Lebanon as jubilant crowds welcome the vessel. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has suggested the incident occurred when SS Liberty tried to outmaneuver the Israeli gunboats, crashing into one of them (yalibnan). This statement is in direct conflict Free Gaza’s version of events. Cyprus (who previously had port authorities search the boat for dangerous cargo) and Lebanon’s governments intend to protest Israel.
CNN’s reporter on board the ship claims the SS Dignity was rammed without warning and later was accused by the Israelis of being involved in terrorist activities. Images from CNN show damage to the boat. Cynthia McKinney claims yacht was rammed 3 times and calls for Obama to make a statement on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The CNN report also highlights claims the SS Dignity attempted to run the blcokade. Cynthia McKinney dismissed the claims as misinformation. CNN