CCR v. Department of Defense/Gaza Freedom Flotilla FOIA

At a Glance

Current Status 

Ongoing document production in response to lawsuit.

Date Filed: 

June 30, 2010

Co-Counsel 

Jessica Lee

Case Description 

CCR v. Department of Defense is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking 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 seeking to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and break the 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 there 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 30th, 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 abroad; 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. A FOIA request was also made 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. Finally, a request was made for 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 eleven 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

2015

Navy's 2015 Production

2015

Navy's 2015 Production

Office of Naval Intelligence produces four documents totaling 12 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit.

2015
State Department's 2015 Production
2014
DHS's 2014 Production
2014
DHS's 2014 Production
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
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
State Department produces 179 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit
2014
Coast Document Production 2014
2014
Coast Document Production 2014
Coast Guard produces 641 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit
2014
DOD'f Public Affairs Office 2014 Production
2014
DOD'f Public Affairs Office 2014 Production
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 General Counsel 2014 Production
2014
DOD's Office of the General Counsel 2014 Production
Department of Defense's Office of General Counsel produces 33 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
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 European Command 2014 Production
2014
DOD's European Command 2014 Production
Department of Defense's European Command produces 363 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit
2014
DOD's Southern Command 2014 Production
2014
DOD's Southern Command 2014 Production
Department of Defense's Southern Command produces 59 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit
2013
DOD Strategic Command 2013 Production
2013
DOD Strategic Command 2013 Production
Department of Defense's Strategic Command produces 285 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit
2013
Coast Guard Document Production 2013
2013
Coast Guard Document Production 2013
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
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
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
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
Department of Justice's Criminal Division produces 76 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit
2012
Coast Guard Document Production 2012
2012
Coast Guard Document Production 2012
Coast Guard produces 16 pages in response to CCR's FOIA request and lawsuit
2012
DOD Production 2012
2012
DOD Production 2012
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
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
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
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
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 eleven months after their filing. The government filed its response on August 22, 2011. The lawsuit has resulted 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
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 Requesting Information on US-Israeli Coordination on Flotilla Attacks
June 30, 2010
CCR Files Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests with U.S. Agencies Requesting Information on US-Israeli Coordination on Flotilla Attacks
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 abroad 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 attack on the six vessel flotilla results in the killing of nine civilians, including 18-year-old U.S. citizen Furkan Doğan.