"This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip," said Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party's 2008 candidate for President of the United States. "President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that's exactly what we tried to do. We're asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey."
Ms. McKinney had earlier sent appeals to President Obama and the State Department for assurances of protection for the relief mission. The Spirit of Humanity was sailing in international waters when it was seized. Greens stressed that the relief boat represents no threat to Israel and must be allowed to continue its voyage to Gaza.
The Spirit of Humanity was carrying medical supplies, cement, olive trees, and children's toys to Gaza after the Israeli invasion in December and January damaged or destroyed 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties and 200 schools damaged or destroyed, 39 mosques, and two churches. The supplies were confiscated by the Israeli navy.