“Some of us were assaulted, thrown onto the deck, and our faces smeared into glass blown out by Israeli grenades,” Wright continued. “One person had a concussion grenade go off close to his head and is suffering eye injuries six years later. Another woman was fired at by the Israeli army with a paint bullet between her eyes, giving her a concussion.”
The suit is being levied under exceptions to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which prohibits many lawsuits against foreign governments. “One of the exceptions is when there is damage, physical or emotional, to American citizens—and when a criminal act is committed on U.S. territory,” explained Wright. “We are alleging that the Challenger 1 boat is an extension of U.S. territory.”
The challenge comes amid fresh announcements that the global Freedom Flotilla plans to sail more ships, including the Women’s Boat to Gaza, which seeks “not only to challenge the Israeli blockade but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people, with the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and from women’s collectives and events around the world.”
International campaigners have made more than a dozen attempts to break the siege on Gaza since Israel’s 2010 attack.
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“We as an international coalition said we cannot let this stop because the Israelis killed people,” said Wright. “What we suffered is minor compared to what Palestinians suffer every day. We have to keep going.”
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