And it keeps getting worse:
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. 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.
The above excerpt is taken from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, although it is not clear whether the skirmish is indeed over.
An SOS call has since been made, stating that the boat has lost one of her engines and is also taking on water.
According to the Free Gaza Movement, their boat was rammed and shot at while in international waters about 70-80 miles off Gaza by Israeli naval vessel.
A spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry has since denied that there had been any shooting, but confirmed that the two ships made “physical contact”.