For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Israel Rams Gaza Relief Boat
WASHINGTON - CNN reports: "An Israeli patrol boat struck a boat carrying medical volunteers and supplies to Gaza early Tuesday as it attempted to intercept the vessel in the Mediterranean Sea, witnesses and Israeli officials said.
"CNN correspondent Karl Penhaul was aboard the 60-foot, Gibraltar-registered pleasure boat Dignity when the contact occurred. When the boat later docked in the Lebanese port city of Tyre, severe damage was visible to the forward port side of the boat, and the front left window and part of the roof had collapsed.
"The Dignity was carrying crew and 16 passengers -- physicians from Britain, Germany and Cyprus and human rights activists, including former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney -- who were trying to reach Gaza through an Israeli blockade of the territory.
"The captain of the Dignity said the Israelis broadcast a radio message accusing the vessel of being involved in terrorist activity. But Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor denied that and said the radio message simply warned the vessel not to proceed to Gaza because it is a closed military area."
The following representatives of the Free Gaza Movement are available for interviews:
Up-to-date information is available at the Free Gaza web page.
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