Flotilla Medical Supplies for Gaza: Still Missing

Nearly 15 months after propaganda from Israeli authorities claiming that we countered at the time, the Israeli government has still not released 114 boxes of medical supplies for Gaza that were aboard the two Freedom Flotilla boats which they hijacked in international waters. We received this letter in July from MyCARE, our partner in Gaza, who confirm that to date they still have not received the medical supplies.

In the last couple of months our lawyers have been presenting evidence to the Haifa Maritime Court, including affidavits from Captain Herman Reksten (Al Awda), Captain John Turnbull (Freedom) and Ann Wright (FFC – US Boat to Gaza).

This case is important as we attempt to highlight the effects of the ongoing illegal blockade of Gaza, which has caused a humanitarian crisis, which our boats with their cargo sought to alleviate, in a small way.

Al Awda arriving Palermo, July 2018


Freedom and Al Awda in international waters, July 2018


29 July 2018 – the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) violently attacked our small fishing boat ‘Al Awda’ (The Return) in international waters. Our crew asserted the right to ‘innocent passage’, as we sailed under a Norwegian flag, but the boat was captured and taken to Ashdod. On 3 August 2018, our second boat ‘Freedom’ was also attacked in international waters. 15 months on and the 114 boxes of medical supplies that our boats carried have yet to be received by MyCARE – our partners in Gaza and the boats which we were delivering as a gift to fishers in Gaza have still not been returned or delivered.

Medical supplies being loaded aboard Al Awda, Palermo, July 2018


Gauze for Gaza: boxes loaded onto Freedom Flotilla vessels before departure.
Gauze for Gaza: boxes of medical supplies loaded onto Freedom Flotilla boats before departure from Sicily, July 2018

Zohar Chamberlain Regev, spokesperson for FFC said: ‘The Israeli government’s ongoing illegal and inhumane blockade of more than two million Palestinian people in Gaza is an outrage. Last year we sailed two small civilian boats all around Western Europe and towards Gaza. Our cargo was medical supplies, love and solidarity which we were delivering to our friends and partners in Gaza. Our boats – one flying the Norwegian flag and one the Swedish flag – were attacked illegally in international waters. We demand to know what happened to the medical supplies which we were carrying and that they will be delivered without further delay to our partners in Gaza.”

Further legal background

11 July 2018 – a group of Israeli citizens presented an urgent embargo request against the same boats to the Jerusalem District Court, claiming that they were the property of Hamas and as such should be sold to pay damages Hamas had previously been ordered to pay.

13 August 2018 – the Israeli state presented a first notice of its intention to confiscate our boats. On 22 August 2018 the official confiscation request was presented to the Haifa Maritime Court based on maritime capture law.

7 October 2018 – hearing at Haifa Maritime Court where it was decided to deal with the request of confiscation for both boats together. Dates were decided for presentation of affidavits and on 11 November 2018 we presented our response to the confiscation request.

25 December 2018 – the Israeli state presented affidavits by Major A from Navy Intelligence [sic] responsible for the preparation for the boats’ arrival, Major Gal Mor from the Maritime Control Unit of the Navy and Anuar Ganaim from COGAT.

5 May 2019 – we presented an affidavit regarding the capture, the medical supplies on board, the missing personal items and the correspondence with COGAT regarding the non-delivery of the medical supplies.

29 July 2019 – the Israeli state presented affidavits concerning the medical supplies from Basam Hino of COGAT and Sharon Atshmoz of the Logistics Unit of the Navy base in Ashdod. The affidavits contained discrepancies regarding the exact quantity of medical supplies found on both boats and supposedly delivered to Gaza. Since the supporting documents were not attached to the affidavits, on 1 August 2019 we presented a formal request for access to those documents.

For further information or interviews, please contact any of our media spokespeople.

Ann and Barbara packing and labelling some of the boxes of medical supplies

Video highlights of our 5,000 nautical mile Freedom Flotilla to Gaza in 2018.

Thanks to our partners at MyCARE for producing these beautiful video highlights of our >5,000 nautical mile Freedom Flotilla to Gaza in 2018. Many more stories, photos and videos on our website.

The illegal and inhumane israeli blockade continues, so we will continue to sail until Palestine is and Palestinian people are free. In 2020 we sail again ‘For the Children of Gaza’ ! Please support our campaigns however you can, including financially: http://canadaboatgaza.org/donate/

Freedom Flotilla Preparing to Sail to Gaza in 2020 to raise awareness about Palestinian youth in Gaza

In 2012, the UN predicted that Gaza was on track to become “unliveable” by 2020. In 2017, the UN acknowledged that the “unliveability” threshold had already been passed. Despite this, “somehow, families in Gaza find ways to ‘make do’.”

In Spring 2020, the next Freedom Flotilla will sail again to challenge the 12 year, illegal and inhuman Israeli blockade imposed on more than 2 million Palestinian people in Gaza – more than half of whom are children.

Partners in the Freedom Flotilla Coalition are mobilizing support for their participation in the Flotilla and you can get involved by contacting your nearest partner listed here.

The people of Gaza do not give up and neither do we. There are 1.4 million young people in Gaza who deserve a better future.

Watch this video by the Israeli NGO Gisha.

Across the world our partners and other friends have been organizing local events to raise
awareness about the continued blockade and also to raise funds to finance the purchase of boats and supplies.

Here are some photos and links to events held in the US, Spain, Sweden and Australia.

For more images and information about US events

For more images and information about Swedish events

For more images and information about the event in Seville

For images and information about events in Australia

For the children in Gaza and for respect of human rights we will sail again until Palestine is free.