360 have died. 1400 are injured.
A ship carrying medical aid to Gaza has been attacked by the Israeli Navy. It was sailing from Cyprus, and was badly damaged – it had to make an emergency docking in Lebanon.
British doctor David Halpin told the BBC he thought he was going to die. As well as doctors, the ship was carrying a former US congresswoman and an MP from Cyprus.
There is so much to say about this. First, Israel is in breach of the laws of war – the Geneva Conventions, on two counts. 1 – it deliberately targeted civilians. And 2 – it physically blocked humanitarian aid entering a war zone.
But that is for another discussion. I just want to say one thing. I salute the brave men and women on board this ship. And as I mentioned yesterday – it is Westerners putting their lives at risk to help the Gazans. Every single person on board is non-Arab, apart from three Arab journalists, and a half-Arab journalist and a Germany-based Arab journalist.
Where are the Arabs? They are marching and burning flags and shouting, and doing other productive things.
On board this ship are:
(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) Giorgios Klontzas, Relief Captain
Cpt. Klontzas is an experienced sailor and human rights activist. This will be 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 August.
(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 section 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 Green Party 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 conflict.
(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.