TYRE, Lebanon (AFP) – An Israeli naval vessel collided on Tuesday with a boat carrying activists and medical supplies that was trying to break the blockade of Gaza, forcing it to divert to a port in Lebanon.
Passengers on board the 20-metre (66-foot) Dignity said the Israeli patrol boat rammed their vessel causing extensive damage, but Israel insisted the two boats collided as the Israeli navy was trying to contact its captain.
Television pictures of the boat entering the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre showed a large gash in the bow of the boat on the port side, with pieces of wood and broken glass covering the deck.
The boat was struck a "massive" blow, said Australian passenger Renee Bowyer.
"The glass shattered over top us. I was thrown across the room. The tables and benches broke around me," Bowyer told AFP.
"We were all pretty sure we were being shot at and that we'd sink," she added saying they quickly grabbed for their life jackets and "prepared for the worst."