Rep. Cynthia McKinney on Rammed Vessel bringing Supplies to GAZA

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Cynthia McKinney: Gaza Relief Boat Attacked By Israeli Military

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Gaza Relief Boat Attacked By Israeli Military

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 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. It was flying the flag of Gibralter.

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.

Palmor said there was no response to the radio message, and the vessel then tried to out-maneuver the Israeli patrol boat, leading to the collision. Video Watch Penhaul describe the boat damage »

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