Israeli Navy Rebuffs Gaza-Bound Relief Boat

Congresswoman aboard says collision was deliberate
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 30, 2008 12:43 PM CST

(Newser) – An Israeli warship collided with a boat of activists defying a blockade to deliver medical supplies to war-torn Gaza today, the Journal-Constitution reports. Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who was aboard, says the "peaceful mission was thwarted by Israel's aggressiveness." An Israeli spokesman denied that the ramming was deliberate. He says Dignity was hit as it attempted to out-maneuver a patrol boat.

The damaged vessel was received by a jubilant crowd in Lebanon, where the crew sailed because they lacked the fuel to return to Cyprus. The Cypriot government plans to seek an explanation from Israel for the incident, which occurred in international waters 90 miles off Gaza's coast. Since August, the activist group has successfully defied Israel's naval blockade five times to make deliveries to Gaza.