Larnaca /Gaza mercy boat is damaged by Israeli Navy and docks in Lebanon - will Hezbollah start 2nd Front ?
SS Dignity, was greeted by a small cheering crowd as it pulled into the southern Lebanese port of Tyre with clear marks of damage near the prow yesterday.
The International Herald Tribune quotes Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor that an Israeli navy ship intercepted the boat, which he said ignored an Israeli radio order to turn back as it approached Gaza early Tuesday.(It was 53 to 90 miles from the coast - reports vary - where were the German NATO patrol vessels one wonders)
Palmor saids the boat tried to outmaneuver an Israeli navy ship (?) and crashed into it, lightly damaging both vessels. The navy then escorted the boat out into the territorial waters of Cyprus.
But passengers and crew of SS Dignity, Gibralter registered and with a British captain, Denis Healey disputed the Israeli account, saying the Israeli vessel rammed the ship.
"We were prevented from entering Gaza ... by Israeli patrol boats that tracked us for about 30 minutes. They shone their spotlight on us and then all of a sudden they rammed us approximately three times, twice in the front and once in the side," said former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney who was on board SS Dignity.
Thousands of Lebanese Hezbollah supporters stood in pouring rain on Monday in South Beirut to protest Israel's air assault on the Gaza Strip, which entered its third day. The demonstrators thronged a huge square and nearby streets, carrying Palestinian, Lebanese and yellow Hezbollah flags and banners supporting the Palestinian people.
In 2006 Hezbollah rockets reached Hadera, a city 27 miles north of Tel Aviv, and Israeli intelligence believes the Lebanese militia now has rockets that can reach 125 miles, far beyond Tel Aviv — meaning the vast majority of Israelis are in range.
The NYT reports that Lebanese Army soldiers found and dismantled eight Katyusha rockets on Christmas Day that were pointed south toward Israel.
The rockets were found near the southern town of Naqura, in the border region where an expanded UN peacekeeping force has been monitoring an uneasy truce since the war in the summer of 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group.
Haaretz reports that The official Lebanese news agency said on Sunday that Israel Air Force warplanes flew over south Lebanon and set off somic booms. It said that there had also been intensive activity by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles flying at intermediate altitudes over the south.Lebanese security sources were quoted as saying that Hezbollah was unlikely to respond militarily to the IDF operation in Gaza. Lebanese officials told the London-based Al-Hayyat newspaper that "It is not in Hezbollah's interest to do so." The officials added that protests in Lebanon against the Israeli genocidal mission were "restrained" and "under control".
Of course they are.