On June 30th 2009, Israeli Naval gunships surrounded the Spirit of Humanity, a boat used by the Free Gaza Movement, in international waters 60 miles off the coast of Israel, and arrested twenty-one activists, from 11 countries, including former Gerogia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who had boarded the Spirit of Humanity in Lamaco, Cyprus, with medical aid, toys, and building supplies, hoping to carry them to Gaza's besieged Palestinian population.
They had hoped not only to deliver aid, but also to challenge the illegal blockade imposed by the Israeli government on Gaza.
Upon her release and return, Cynthia McKinney spoke to WBAIX, from New York's JFK Airport, where she reported that the Israeli Navy had towed the "Spirit of Humanity," not directly to Port Ashdod, but, on a circuitous route, bypassing the Gaza Coast. This, she said, suggested that the Israeli Navy is engaged in activity that they do not want observed off the Gaza Strip, known to be the site of billions of dollars worth of natural gas reserves.
Barack Obama, in his speech proposing U.S. reconciliation with the Moslem world, in Cairo, Egypt, on 06.03.2009, said nothing of the estimated $4 billion worth of natural gas off the Coast of Gaza, nor of the oil and natural gas in Iraq, Iran, or Sudan, or, the pipeline projects to move Central Asian oil and natural gas through through Afghanistan, and other parts of Central Asia.