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.


Civilians aboard the Dignity being threatened by the Israeli military:

(UK) Denis Healey, Captain
Captain of the Dignity, Denis has been involved with boats for 45 years,
beginning with small fishing boats in Portsmouth. He learned to sail while
atschool and has been part of the sea ever since. He’s a certified
yachtmaster and has also worked on heavy marine equipment from yachts to
large dredgers. This is his fourth trip to Gaza.

(Greece) Nikolas Bolos, First Mate
Nikolas is a chemical engineer and human rights activist. He has served as
a crewmember on several Free Gaza voyages, including the first one in

(Jordan) Othman Abu Falah
Othman is a senior producer with Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in
Gaza to report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Australia) Renee Bowyer
Renee is a schoolteacher and human rights activist. She will remain in
Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting..

(Ireland) Caoimhe Butterly
Caoimhe is a reknowned human rights activist and Gaza Coordinator for the
Free Gaza Movement. She will be remaining in Gaza to do human rights
monitoring, assist with relief efforts, and work on project development
with Free Gaza.

(Cyprus) Ekaterini Christodulou
Ekaterini is a well-known and respected freelance journalist in Cyprus.
She is traveling to Gaza to report on the conflict.

(Sudan) Sami El-Haj
Sami is a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and head of the
human rights
at Al-Jazeera Television. He will remain in Gaza to report on the
ongoing military onslaught.

(UK) Dr. David Halpin
Dr. Halpin is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, medical professor, and
ship’s captain. He has organized humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza on
several occasions with the Dove and Dolphin. He is traveling to Gaza to
volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(Germany) Dr.. Mohamed Issa
Dr. Issa is a pediatric surgeon from Germany. He is traveling to Gaza to
volunteer in hospitals and clinics.

(UK/Tunisia) Fathi Jaouadi
Fathi is a television producer and human rights activist.. He will remain
in Gaza to do human rights monitoring and reporting.

(USA) Cynthia McKinney
Cynthia is a former U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia, and the 2008
presidential candidate. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the
ongoing conflict.

(Cyprus) Martha Paisi
Martha is a senior research fellow and experienced human rights activist.
She is traveling to Gaza to do human rights work and to assist with
humanitarian relief efforts.

(UK) Karl Penhaul
Karl Penhaul is a video correspondent for CNN, based out of Bogotá,
Colombia. Appointed to this position in February 2004, he covers breaking
news around the world utilizing CNN’s new laptop-based ‘Digital
Newsgathering’ system. He is traveling to Gaza to report on the ongoing

(Iraq) Thaer Shaker
Thaer is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera television. He will remain in Gaza to
report on the ongoing military onslaught.

(Cyprus) Dr. Elena Theoharous, MP
Dr. Theoharous is a surgeon and a Member of the Cypriot Parliament. She is
traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict, assist with humanitarian
relief efforts, and volunteer in hospitals.


  1. December 30, 2008 at 08:52

    […] tip to DesertPeace for this […]

  2. December 30, 2008 at 09:05

    Israel is bossing around and world is sitting seeing the destruction pictures on TV.

  3. Robin said,

    December 30, 2008 at 13:15

    The boat just made it to Tyre Lebanon. Was live on CNN. The boat is utterly DEMOLISHED and is a miracle they didn’t sink.

    Israeli spokesmen are claiming it was an accident, that they then “escorted the Dignity back to Cypriot waters”

    This is an absolute LIE.

    The Dignity was rammed in international waters, 90 miles off the coast of Gaza.

    The CNN reporter on board was speaking live on CNN.

    There is footage of the attack, they are SAFE in Lebanon but for the grace of God.

    The truth about this WAR CRIME in INTERNATIONAL WATERS will be known and these MONSTERS who commit crimes against the Palestinian people every
    minute of the day will be exposed as the F–G liars they are!

    Why does it have to be “Internationals” who are believed with REPORTERS?

    Palestinians cry out to the world and they are ignored!

    Angels were on board the Dignity, now SEND THEM TO GAZA to sit on every man, woman and child’s shoulder.

  4. buffy said,

    December 30, 2008 at 14:04

    There was nothing in the Canadian mainstream press about this, indeed never has our mainstream press been more biased.

    Thank G-d that those aboard are safe and that they made it to Tyre, each of these people are truly heros and honourable.

    Thank you Desertpeace in your tireless efforts to speak truth, justice and humanity in these times of disgrace.

  5. Robin said,

    December 30, 2008 at 14:31

    Visitor to my blog logged on by googling the CNN reporter’s name, Karl Penhaul Karl Dignity&aq=f&oq=
    Host Name
    IP Address [Label IP Address]
    Country United States
    Region District Of Columbia
    City Washington
    ISP U.s. Department Of State
    Returning Visits 0
    Visit Length 0 seconds

    Ya think some people in Washington woke up this morning with a migraine headache to start off their day? Thank GOD this boat made it to Lebanon, the cameras of CNN and Aljazeera were on board and the world will SEE with their own eyes the LIES of Israel!

    Cynthia McKinney just called on Obama (come out come out wherever you are) to speak out. She called on the supplier of weapons to Israel (the US) to HALT all sales immediately She CLEARLY stated as did Karl Penhaul that the Dignity was in INTERNATIONAL WATERS and was RAMMED by the Israeli navy.

    She brought up the Liberty, REMEMBER THE LIBERTY and what Israel claimed then too.

    Let’s see how the US govt. spins this one in Israel’s favor.

  6. December 30, 2008 at 17:12

    […] CALL TO ACTION: SHIP ON MERCY MISSION TO GAZA UNDER ATTACK BY ISRAELI NAVYBOATS December 30, 2008 Posted by verteta in Israel. trackback Full Link : HERE […]

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