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California Green/presidential candidate/former member of Congress Cynthia McKinney safe after Israeli gunboat rams humanitarian aid ship headed to Gaza

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO (December 30, 2008) - The Green Party's 2008 presidential candidate - former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who resides in Berkeley - was reported safe after an Israeli gunboat rammed and severely damaged a humanitarian relief ship headed to the Gaza with medical supplies.

The Green Party of California released a statement Tuesday condemning the attack on McKinney's boat - which held more than three tons of medical supplies - and called for Israel, and other parties, to cease attacks in Gaza and search for a peaceful solution.

"What we have gone through pales in comparison to what the people of the Gaza Strip are suffering," said Ms. McKinney in an interview with CNN after the incident.

McKinney joined the Free Gaza Group and was on board the SS Dignity when it sailed from Cyprus to Gaza in defiance of the Israeli blockade. A Israeli gunboat illegally rammed the SS Dignity in international waters, 90 miles off the Gaza coast, without warning. The SS Dignity suffered significant damage and limped into a Lebanon port for repairs with no reported injuries.

McKinney - who is challenging President-elect Barack Obama to condemn Israel's attacks on Gaza - is a six-term Democratic Party Congresswoman who won the Green Party nomination for President after California Greens began a draft Cynthia campaign.

"We deplore the violence in Gaza, and we condemn the attacks on civilians, including those who, like Cynthia McKinney, are only attempting to help people. We urge an immediate cease-fire, and an end to the Israeli blockade that endangers humanitarian efforts. We urge Ms. McKinney to continue her efforts at peace, and wish her safe passage," said the Green Party of California.

-30-

Contacts:
Susan King, Spokesperson, 415.823.5524,
Daniel Brezenoff, Spokesperson, 310.422.2211,
Cres Vellucci, Press Secretary, 916.996.9170,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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