CCR v. Department of Defense/Gaza Freedom Flotilla FOIA

At a Glance

Date Filed: 

June 30, 2010

Current Status 

Ongoing document production in response to lawsuit.

Co-Counsel 

Jessica Lee

Case Description 

CCR v. Department of Defense is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking the release of documents from the United States government regarding its knowledge of and role in the deadly May 2010 attack by the Israeli military on a flotilla of six vessels in international waters. The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was seeking to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and break the Israeli blockade. Among the nine civilians killed was 18-year-old U.S. citizen Furkan Doğan, who was shot several times as he was filming the 4:00 a.m. raid and then shot in the face at point-blank range as he lay wounded. This case and its accompanying advocacy are part of CCR’s body of work challenging the United States’ support of the Israeli government despite its grave and continuous human rights violations against Palestinians and Palestinian rights activists. 

On June 30, 2010, one month after the attack, CCR filed FOIA requests with eight U.S. departments and agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Department of State, the Navy, the U.S. European Command, and the Department of Justice. The FOIA requests sought information on what, if any, communications were made between the U.S. government and Israel prior to and after the attack; what, if any, information the U.S. shared before or after with Israel about any of the U.S. citizens aboard; what was done to secure the release of detained citizens; and what is being done to return property seized from U.S. citizens and other passengers and to ensure that such property, which includes evidence for any investigations into the attack, is not tampered with or destroyed. CCR also filed a FOIA request regarding communications with other countries and with organizations such as NATO in relation to the attack on the flotilla and the delivery of humanitarian supplies to Gaza. Last, CCR requested information about U.S. policy towards Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has been found to be a form of collective punishment by various representatives of the United Nations.

Nearly 11 months after the FOIA requests were filed, only two agencies had produced any records, and their responses were wholly inadequate. In response, CCR filed this lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, which has resulted in the release of thousands of pages of documents that demonstrate how the U.S. government shielded the Israeli military from accountability for this deadly and unlawful attack. Guides to the documents we have received can be found below. CCR has been engaged in intensive negotiations with the government, resulting in the ongoing release of records previously withheld and from offices that either failed to search for records or conducted inadequate searches. 

GUIDES TO DOCUMENTS RELEASED BY U.S. GOVERNMENT

Case Timeline

July 1, 2016
Coast Guard's 2016 production
July 1, 2016
Coast Guard's 2016 production
Documents produced by Coast Guard in 2016.
April 1, 2016
DOD's 2016 production
April 1, 2016
DOD's 2016 production
The Department of Defense produces several hundred pages, referred from the Department of State, in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
April 1, 2016
FBI's 2016 production
April 1, 2016
FBI's 2016 production
The Federal Bureau of Investigation produces documents in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2015

Navy's 2015 production

2015

Navy's 2015 production

The Office of Naval Intelligence produces documents in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.

December 4, 2015
DOD's 2015 production
2015
Coast Guard's 2015 production
2015
Coast Guard's 2015 production

The Coast Guard produces 94 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.

2014
DHS's 2014 production
2014
DHS's 2014 production
The Department of Homeland Security produces 2 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2014
Navy's 2014 production
2014
Navy's 2014 production
The Office of Naval Intelligence produces 117 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2014
State Department's 2014 production
2014
State Department's 2014 production
The State Department produces 179 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2014
Coast Guard production 2014
2014
Coast Guard production 2014
The Coast Guard produces 641 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2014
DOD's Public Affairs Office 2014 production
2014
DOD's Public Affairs Office 2014 production
The Department of Defense's Public Affairs Office produces 282 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2014
DOD's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy's 2014 production
2014
DOD's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy's 2014 production
The Department of Defense's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy produces 69 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2014
DOD's Office of the General Counsel 2014 production
2014
DOD's Office of the General Counsel 2014 production
The Department of Defense's Office of General Counsel produces 33 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2014
DOD's Southern Command 2014 production
2014
DOD's Southern Command 2014 production
The Department of Defense's Southern Command produces 59 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2014
DOD's European Command 2014 production
2014
DOD's European Command 2014 production
The Department of Defense's European Command produces 363 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2013
DOD Strategic Command 2013 production
2013
DOD Strategic Command 2013 production
The Department of Defense's Strategic Command produces 285 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2013
Coast Guard production 2013
2013
Coast Guard production 2013
The Coast Guard produces 21 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2013
State Department's 2013 production
2013
State Department's 2013 production
The State Department produces 1786 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2013
DOJ's FBI's 2013 production
2013
DOJ's FBI's 2013 production
The Department of Justice's Federal Bureau of Information produces 23 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
December 20, 2012
State Department's 2012 production
December 20, 2012
State Department's 2012 production
The State Department produces 4019 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2012
DOJ's Criminal Division's 2012 production
2012
DOJ's Criminal Division's 2012 production
The Department of Justice's Criminal Division produces 76 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2012
Coast Guard production 2012
2012
Coast Guard production 2012
The Coast Guard produces 16 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2012
DOD production 2012
2012
DOD production 2012
The Department of Defense produces 33 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2012
DOJ's FBI's 2012 production
2012
DOJ's FBI's 2012 production
Department of Justice's Federal Bureau of Investigation produces 494 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2012
DOJ's Office of Information Policy's 2012 production
2012
DOJ's Office of Information Policy's 2012 production
The Department of Justice's Office of Information Policy produces 18 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2011
DOD production 2011
2011
DOD production 2011
The Department of Defense produces 52 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2011
Coast Guard 2011 document production
2011
Coast Guard 2011 document production
The Coast Guard produces 41 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
2011
State Department's 2011 production
2011
State Department's 2011 production
The State Department produces 127 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.
May 24, 2011
CCR files suit against agencies after year-long failure to adequately respond to FOIA requests
May 24, 2011
CCR files suit against agencies after year-long failure to adequately respond to FOIA requests
CCR's suit, in the Southern District of New York, comes after only two agencies responded to FOIA requests nearly 11 months after their filing. The government files its response on August 22, 2011. The lawsuit results in the release of thousands of documents previously withheld and from offices that either failed to search for records or conducted inadequate searches.
2010
DHS's 2010 production
2010
DHS's 2010 production
The Department of Homeland Security produces 46 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request
June 30, 2010
CCR files Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with U.S. agencies asking for information on U.S.-Israeli coordination on flotilla attacks
June 30, 2010
CCR files Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with U.S. agencies asking for information on U.S.-Israeli coordination on flotilla attacks
CCR's FOIA requests, directed at eight U.S. departments and agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Department of State, the Navy, the U.S. European Command, and the Department of Justice, seek information on communications between the U.S. and Israel about the attacks, the status of U.S. citizens aboard the Flotilla, and U.S. policy towards Gaza.
May 31, 2010
Israeli military attacks humanitarian flotilla seeking to break Gaza embargo
May 31, 2010
Israeli military attacks humanitarian flotilla seeking to break Gaza embargo
The Israeli military attack on the six-vessel flotilla results in the killing of nine civilians, including 18-year-old U.S. citizen Furkan Doğan.