Mediterranean Sea south of Crete (Greece): During a storm a few nights ago, part of the rigging on the Zaytouna-Oliva was damaged by heavy winds. Although the damage was minor and she continued to make good progress for the last few days under motor towards the Greek island of Crete, she still needed her rigging fixed in order to continue the mission.
This morning our friends from Ship to Gaza Greece sent a repair boat which brought a skilled rigging specialist to repair the damage, as well as bringing more fuel and supplies.
According to Madeleine Habib, skipper of Zaytouna-Oliva: “the professionalism of rigger and team that came on board was great. It really meant so much to us! In addition to fuel and other supplies, the boat brought the women Greek desserts, solidarity and friendship.” Zohar Chamberlain Regev, coordinator of the Women’s Boat to Gaza who worked closely with women from Ship to Gaza Greece to arrange the needed repairs, adds: “This immediate response to our boat’s needs is just another example of how much solidarity there is around the world to help break the blockade of Gaza. While there are no Greek women on the boats, their campaign’s concrete solidarity has helped us on this international mission in a vital way.”
The Zaytouna-Oliva is now continuing on her way to break the illega blockade of Gaza, with many thanks to the solidarity and friendship from Greece! She is scheduled to reach the shores of Gaza later this week.
Media contact person: Ellen Huttu Hansson. Phone: +46 722 883 213
Photo credit: Kia Ora Gaza (New Zealand/ Aotearoa).
The following is a compilation from the Captain, crew and participants on the boat.
Wednesday, September 28
We had heavy showers and several women are seasick. There were not many takers of the cous cous salad we had for lunch. But our discomfort at sea pales in comparison to the people of Palestine.
Thursday, September 29
Today has been easier and we are enjoying calm conditions. We are sitting together enjoying the noon sunshine. It is nice to see everyone smiling and finding their sealegs. Women are singing “I am sailing to be near to you”.
Mairead Maguire Nobel Peace Prize winner explains why she joined the women's boat to Gaza. The goals of this mission is to highlight the devastating effects of the brutal blockade of the Palestinian people living in Gaza.
As reported yesterday, the Zaytouna-Oliva has departed Messina with its course set for Gaza. Difficult weather conditions last night caused damage to her rigging. All on board are ok and she continues her course under engine power. Presently, we are considering our options for repair. We want everyone to know that the safety and well-being of all those on board remain our priorities.
Photo from dockside this morning, credit: Freedom Flotilla Italy
Zaytouna-Oliva departs for Gaza
Amal-Hope II to follow soon
For Immediate Release
September 27, 2016
Contacts people: Lucia Intruglio / Wendy Goldsmith
Phone: +39 368 746 8528 / +39 328 718 5648
Messina, Italy: This morning at 9:50 am, women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here.
Join reporter Yudit Ilany as she spends a week with the Women’s Flotilla to Gaza, while it makes port calls in southern Europe, and ultimately attempts to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza.
See the report here.
For Immediate Release
20 September 2016
Ajaccio, Corsica, France: The Women’s Boat to Gaza (Zaytouna-Oliva) left the port of Ajaccio at 09:30 this morning. It is due to arrive later this week in Messina, Sicily, Italy, where it will dock for the last time, prior to sailing to challenge the illegal blockade of Gaza.
One of the participants aboard, Lisa Gay Hamilton said: “It is an honour to be here and join this extraordinary group of women. This issue is bigger than me, than any of us. As a mother, as a daughter, as a sister, I cannot help thinking of Palestinian women in Gaza, who live in an open-air prison because of the occupation. It is so painful to think of them, we have to take action to end the blockade of Gaza.” A full list of the participants on this leg is available at: https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/participants
Lucia Intruglio, spokesperson and one of the local organisers in Messina said: “We are very pleased to host the women on Zaytouna-Oliva before they embark on this historic voyage.” During their stay in Messina, all of the women will participate in non-violence training, whilst finalizing supplies and equipment for the boat.
A previous Freedom Flotilla Coalition ship, the Marianne av Göteborg from Sweden, departed from Sicily last year. It however was raided in international waters by the Israeli Occupation Forces. When asked whether the Zaytouna-Oliva will reach its destination, Intruglio replied: “Our destination remains the conscience of humanity. It is up to every one of us to help them succeed in this.”
The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries.
In Canada please contact:
Sandra Ruch: firstname.lastname@example.org +1-416-716-4010
Irene Macinnes: email@example.com +1-778-870-2448
You can support the Women's Boat to Gaza by donating online: http://canadaboatgaza.org/donate/
Those who can benefit from a U.S. tax receipt can contribute online at
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