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Cynthia McKinney

Israeli Consulate: McKinney Behavior 'Irresponsible'

Cynthia McKinney 52%

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(11ALIVE) -- Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was aboard a boat called the Dignity that CNN said was rammed by an Israeli boat.

Tuesday afternoon the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast said in a statement that McKinney's actions were "irresponsible".

"Israel continues to take its humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza seriously. Border crossings into Gaza remain open, and every effort is being made to deliver aid to the Palestinian people. 

"Nearly 100 trucks carrying relief supplies entered Gaza on the 28th & 29th of December and additional shipments are arriving. Israel is working closely with UNSCO, UNRWA, the Red Cross, and WHO to ensure the entry of the required aid, especially food and medical equipment.

"Unfortunately, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has taken it upon herself to commit an act of provocation, leading a small boat of supposed assistants into the conflict zone. She endangered herself, her assistants, and the vessel's crew.

"The Israeli navy hailed Ms. McKinney but the former Congresswoman failed to respond, thereby leading to the incident.

"We regret that during this time of crisis, while Israel is battling with the terrorist organization of Hamas and defending its citizens, that we are forced to deal with Ms. McKinney's irresponsible behavior." 

The boat was carrying volunteers and medical supplies to Gaza when it was intercepted. It left Cyprus Monday.

"Our mission was a peaceful mission, to deliver medical supplies," McKinney said. "Our mission was thwarted by aggressiveness of Israeli military. Now one of the things I would like to ask President-elect Obama is to say something, please, about humanitarian crisis that is being experienced right now by the people of Gaza."

The Dignity's captain said Israeli officials ordered his vessel to turn back and accused it of being involved in terrorist activities.

CNN reporter Karl Penhaul, who was on board the Dignity, said part of the boat's motor was damaged. Penhaul called the collision intentional, saying the Israeli boat pursued the Dignity for half an hour before the ramming occured.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman responded that any claim the collision was deliberate was "absurd." He said the Dignity was trying to outmaneuver the Israeli boat when it was struck.

The collision occured in international waters. The Dignity reportedly headed to Lebanon after it was struck.

Before leaving Cyprus, McKinney said, "There is a need for the medical supplies that is on this boat; there is a need for international attention and perhaps most importantly, there is a need for the people in the United States to understand that every piece of rubble that is the. e on this strip of land is caused by US weapons."


Posted By: David Ries
Information from: CNN

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