Category Archives: News

Rogers Waters in Barcelona: Everyone with Palestine

 

Opening his European tour in Barcelona, Roger Waters will participate in the event ‘Totes amb Palestina’ (Everyone with Palestina), which will take place at the Espai Josep Bota de la Fabra i Coats, Monday 9th April.

Rania Muhareb, legal researcher with the Palestinian organization Al-Haq, will take part in the event and tell about the consequences of the latest escalation of repression in Palestine. Sandra Barrilaro, Rumbo a Gaza, Freedom Flotilla Coalition, will present Right to a Just Future for Palestine.

The Gaza Strip, Palestine, is recovering from the bloodiest episode since 2014, after the Israeli forces killed 21 people during the March 30th demonstrations near the border with Israel. Many thousands of Gaza’s residents have gathered to demand the right of the Palestinian refugees and their descendants to go back to their historical homes as part of The Great March of Return. The date to start this pacific action, supported by all Palestinian factions, was chosen as a reminder that the loss of land is a constant under the illegal Israeli occupation.

In light of this and while Roger Waters is in Barcelona, for the opening of his Us +Them tour; April 13th& 14th at the Palau Sant Jordi, various groups have organized this event ‘Totes amb Palestina’, to be held Monday April 9th in the Espai Josep Bota, at the Fabra i Coats cultural space of Sant Andreu de Palomar, Barcelona.

The founder member of Pink Floyd, a firm defender of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel’s violations of human rights, will share the stage with Rania Muhareb, a legal researcher with Al Haq, a Palestinian human rights organization, who will speak about the increase in repression experienced by the Palestinian population at the moment; and with Sandra Barrilaro, member of Rumbo a Gaza (Freedom Flotilla Coalition), who will present Right to a Just Future for Palestine, the new mission to challenge the illegal blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade.

Free access subject to on-line booking using this link: http://Palestin.eventbrite.es. The event is organized by the following group: BDS, Prou Complicitat amb Israel, Rumbo a Gaza (Freedom Flotilla Coalition), Ateneu l’Harmonia, Tigre de paper edicions; and supported by the municipality of Barcelona. For more information: info@rumboagaza.org. We hope to share with you video from this event in the future, as was done with a Waters event in Vancouver last year (https://vimeo.com/243417578).

Freedom Flotilla Coaltion literary contest results.
After reviewing 29 English entries, our jurors selected a winner and a runner up in the categories of short story and poetry.   The winners are, for short story:  Mikayla Boorany (South Africa), Dan Lieberman (USA), and for poetry: Gerry Sloan (USA) and Anna Dora Antonsdottir (Iceland). Their submissions have begun appearing on our website www.sgf.freedomflotilla.org, and will continue to be published, along with winning texts in Spanish and Arabic. See our full announcement for more, including a link a collection of submissions from school-children in South Africa: sgf.freedomflotilla.org/news/winners-of-the-literary-contest-keys-to-the-future-of-palestine.

 

Our literary contest results announcement coincided with the Palestinian Land Day protests and Great March of Return, marking 70 years of the Nakba (Catastrophe). See the Freedom Flotilla Coalition's statement about the killing of civilian protestors: Massacre at Gaza’s Borders: We Will Not Be Silent – End Israeli Impunity. We will be continuing to follow these protests supporting the Palestinian Right of Return over the coming weeks. Our next flotilla, sailing for a Just Future for Palestine, will leave mid-May from Copenhagen and will make many port stops along the way before departing for Gaza mid-July from the western Mediterranean.  Please help spread the word by sharing our messages, and please follow our mission as we make our way towards ending the illegal blockade of Gaza, .


In solidarity,

The Canadian Boat to Gaza, part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition

www.freedomflotilla.org
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition
Twitter https://twitter.com/GazaFFlotilla
Instagram instagram.com/gazafreedomflotilla

Two Former New Democrat MPs and the Publisher of Rabble Endorsement

le texte français suit*

Two Former New Democrat MPs, and the Publisher of Rabble now endorse our 2018 campaign to end the blockade of Gaza:

 

"Ending the blockade and human suffering in Gaza is an urgent human rights issue that must concern us all. Having visited Gaza in 2009 we know first hand the impact of the blockade on civil society. The International Freedom Flotilla in 2018 strives to bring the world's attention to the deteriorating situation. We support the aims for peace and justice for the Palestinians of Gaza."
Libby Davies Former Member of Parliament, Vancouver East, 1997-2015. Former Deputy Leader, New Democratic Party.
Kim Elliott, Publisher, rabble.ca

"I would like to thank all those involved in the Canadian Boat to Gaza and to wish them well in this important mission.  It is important to continue to bring attention to this illegal blockade. It is my hope that the Israeli authorities will welcome the Freedom Flotilla mission and guarantee freedom of movement for the Palestinian people. I would also like to encourage the Government of Canada to offer support to those courageous Canadians taking part in this important endeavour."
Alex Atamanenko

Member of Parliament, B.C. Southern Interior, 2006-2015.
The Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign needs your support in order to participate in the Freedom Flotilla 2018 sailing For a Just Future for Palestine.  

You can donate online (canadaboatgaza.org/donate) or by postal mail. Make out cheque or money order to Turtle Island Humanitarian Aid and mail it to:


Canadian Boat to Gaza
PO Box 1950, London Stn. B
London, Ontario N6A 5J4
CANADA

 

(Note: like many of our sister organizations, we would prefer to move away from dependence on PayPal for online donations. At this point, we are pleased to accept e-Interac transfers from Canadian bank accounts, and we hope to announce other payment methods soon. Please e-mail us if you have questions about this)


Some (especially those who can benefit from a charitable tax receipt in the US) may wish to donate through the US Boat to Gaza page:

https://2018boatstogaza-nonviolenceinternational.nationbuilder.com/contribute
In other parts of the world, please consider donating through one our other partner campaigns in the Freedom Flotilla: 

https://sgf.freedomflotilla.org/donate

 

Whether your can donate financially or not, please help us spread the word about our campaign:

  • share our messages with your family, friends and/or work colleagues and encourage them to join our mailing list; 
  • send an endorsement message from your association, union, congregation or political party;
  • organize and attend events to raise funds and awareness for our campaign;
  • join a Freedom Flotilla campaign near you and encourage others to do so;
  • follow us on the web, Facebook, Twitter (see below), and (new!Instagram, and share our posts widely.

Twitter: @CanadaBoatGaza @GazaFFlotilla

www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza        

www.facebook.com/BateauCanadienGaza 

www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition  
 

*francais:
Deux anciens députés néodémocrates et l'éditrice de Rabble.ca soutiennent notre campagne pour mettre fin au blocus de Gaza:

 

"Mettre fin au blocus ainsi qu'à la souffrance humaine à Gaza constitue un enjeu humanitaire urgent qui doit nous concerner tous et toutes. Ayant visité Gaza en 2009, nous connaissons de nos propres yeux l'impact du blocus sur la société civile. En 2018, la Flottille de la Liberté internationale s'efforce à attirer l'attention du monde sur cette situation qui se détériore. Nous appuyons les objectifs de paix et de justice pour les Palestiniennes et le Palestiniens de Gaza." 
Libby Davies, ancienne députée, Vancouver Est, de 1997 2015. Ancienne Leader adjointe, Nouveau Parti Démocratique.
Kim Elliott, Éditrice, rabble.ca

"Je tiens à remercier tous ceux et toutes celles qui oeuvrent au sein du Bateau canadien pour Gaza, à leur souhaiter bon vent pour cette mission importante en 2018. C'est important de continuer à attirer l'attention sur ce blocus illégal. Mon souhait c'est que les autorités israéliennes accueilleront bien la mission de la Flottille de la Liberté et garantiront la liberté de mouvement pour le peuple palestinien. J'aimerais aussi encourager le gouvernement canadien à offrir leur appui aux personnes courageuses du Canada qui participent à cet effort important."
Alex Atamanenko

Ancien député (NPD), C.-B. Southern Interior, 2006-2015.

 

La campagne du Bateau canadien pour Gaza a besoin de votre soutien afin de participer dans la Flottille de la Liberté 2018, quand on naviguera pour un Avenir Juste pour la Palestine.

Vous pouvez faire un don en ligne, (canadaboatgaza.org/donate) ou par chèque à la poste. Il faut libeller votre chèque ou mandat postal au nom de: Aide humanitaire Île de la Tortue et l'envoyer à:

 


Bateau canadien pour Gaza
PO Box 1950, London Stn. B
London, Ontario N6A 5J4
CANADA

 

(Nota bene: comme beaucoup de nos alliés, nous aimerions réduire notre dépendance sur PayPal pour les dons en ligne. En ce moment, nous sommes heureux d'accepter les virements par e-Interac à partir des comptes bancaires canadiens, et nous espérons annoncer bientôt d'autres méthodes pour effectuer les paiements. Veuillez nous contacter par courriel si vous avez des questions à cet égard).  


Certaines personnes (en particulier celles qui peuvent bénéficier d'un reçu d'impôt aux É-U, pourraient vouloir faire un don par le biais de cette campagne-là:

https://2018boatstogaza-nonviolenceinternational.nationbuilder.com/contribute
Depuis d'autres parties du monde, vous pouvez faire un don par le biais des sites de nos partenaires: 

https://sgf.freedomflotilla.org/donate


Que vous puissiez ou pas nous soutenir financièrement, veuillez nous aider à diffuser notre campagne:

  • partagez nos messages avec votre famille, vos amis, et/ ou vos collègues de travail, et encouragez-les à s'abonner à notre liste de courriel; 
  • envoyez un message de soutien de la part de votre association, votre syndicat, votre congrégation ou votre parti politique. 
  • organisez et assistez à des événements afin de lever des fond et de conscientiser les gens aux objectifs de notre campagne;
  • inscrivez-vous à une campagne de la Freedom Flotilla à proximité de vous, et encouragez les autres à encouragez d'autres personnes à le faire aussi; et
  • suivez-nous sur le web, sur Facebook, Twitter (voir ci-après), et (nouveau!Instagram, et partager nos billets largement.

Twitter: @CanadaBoatGaza @GazaFFlotilla

www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza        
www.facebook.com/BateauCanadienGaza 
www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition  

 

— 

Canadian Boat to Gaza: www.canadaboatgaza.org email: canadaboatgaza@gmail.com

Bateau canadien pour GAZA: www.canadaboatgaza.org courriel: canadaboatgaza@gmail.com

Lia Tarachansky, Israeli-Canadian film-maker, supports Freedom Flotilla & Canadian Boat to Gaza

 

Dear friends,

It was the middle of the night on May 31st, 2010. I was staring at a google map on my laptop. On it, a dot was slowly inching across the Mediterranean Sea. At 4:00 in the morning, the dot stopped moving.  That dot was tracking a convoy of ships staffed with hundreds of volunteers from Cyprus to Gaza, in an attempt to break the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Gaza Strip. It wasn’t the first convoy but it was the biggest one to attempt to do so. Its intention was clear — to reach the oft-forgotten Palestinian territory under Israel’s occupation and break the inhumane blockade imposed on it by land, sea, and air.
 
I remember those anxious hours, waiting for news, any news on why the dot stopped moving. In previous attempts to break the blockade, the Israeli navy stopped the ships and arrested those on board, deporting them after interrogation and confiscating or destroying their boats and supplies. This time I had a bad feeling. At 8:00 in the morning a message finally came through. The Israeli navy intercepted the boats, invaded, and attacked. All in international waters, all against international law. Nine people were killed (a tenth died later from wounds) and dozens injured.
 
Working as a journalist in Israel/Palestine I’ve frequently covered Israeli army attacks, but rarely have the victims been international activists. That attack led to international pressure, media attention, and a chain of events that had further complicated Israel’s fraught relationships with Turkey and Egypt. It had direct consequences on the ten families who lost loved ones, on thousands of activists, and on millions of Palestinians who saw that international civil society has not abandoned them in their struggle for basic freedoms. It also had an impact on millions of Israelis for whom Gaza is not a real place where people struggle to live normal lives but a conversation piece, a hellish fantasy behind huge walls, tucked away only to be periodically invaded as "punishment" for rocket attacks. In Hebrew “go to Gaza” is a slang insult, akin to “go to hell.” By noon of that day in May 2010, hundreds of Israelis gathered on the streets and chanted horrible hate-filled slogans aimed at the activists and Palestinians at large. The incident highlighted not only that the Occupation must end but also the extent of dehumanization and collective denial that would need to be overcome if we as Israelis are to live as equal citizens to Palestinians, in an open Middle East. Since then, year after year activists continue to fundraise for more convoys, for more ships, to collect donations of humanitarian aid, and to risk their lives against the Israeli Navy.
 
I don’t know what will be the straw that will break the camel’s back and that will finally bring to an end the brutal military occupation of the Palestinian Territories. It’s been seventy years since two-thirds of the Palestinian people were displaced from their lands and fifty years since the Israeli army imposed martial law on those remaining in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. So long has the Occupation continued that its very existence has become a violation of international law. 
 
No one can know the cumulative effect of thousands of steps taken collectively towards the end of injustice. As someone born in the repressive, insulated regime of the Soviet Union I do know that these steps make an impact. In 1989, against all predictions, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. In 1990, against all predictions, I was one of over a million Jews freed to leave to Israel, escaping Soviet anti-Semitism. In 1993, again against all predictions, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands on the lawn of the White House, starting the tumultuous and yet-unfulfilled peace process. I know that change can come, that it can be within our lifetimes, and I thank wholeheartedly the courageous volunteers of the Canadian Boat to Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla Coalition as they risk their lives for change to manifest.
 

Lia Tarachansky, Israeli-Canadian journalist & filmmaker

You can donate to Canadian Boat to Gaza online (canadaboatgaza.org/donate) or by postal mail. Make out cheque or money order to Turtle Island Humanitarian Aid and mail it to:

Canadian Boat to Gaza
PO Box 1950, London Stn. B
London, Ontario N6A 5J4
CANADA

 

(Note: like many of our sister organizations, we would prefer to move away from dependence on PayPal for online donations. At this point, we are pleased to accept e-Interac transfers from Canadian bank accounts, and we hope to announce other payment methods soon. Please e-mail us if you have questions about this)


Some (especially those who can benefit from a charitable tax receipt in the US) may wish to donate through the US Boat to Gaza page:

https://2018boatstogaza-nonviolenceinternational.nationbuilder.com/contribute
In other parts of the world, please consider donating through one our other partner campaigns in the Freedom Flotilla: Coalition:  https://sgf.freedom flotilla.org/donate

 

Whether your can donate financially or not, please help us spread the word about our campaign:

  • share our messages with your family, friends and/or work colleagues and encourage them to join our mailing list; 
  • send an endorsement message from your association, union, congregation or political party;
  • organize and attend events to raise funds and awareness for our campaign;
  • join a Freedom Flotilla campaign near you and encourage others to do so;
  • follow us on the web, Facebook, Twitter (see below), and (new!Instagram, and share our posts widely.

Twitter: @CanadaBoatGaza @GazaFFlotilla

www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza        
www.facebook.com/BateauCanadienGaza 
www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition  

 

Message from Rifat Audeh, Mavi Marmara survivor & Palestinian-Canadian film-maker

In late 2009, I joined a lifeline land convoy heading towards Gaza to break the illegal blockade that Israel imposed on Gaza’s Palestinian civilian population, now numbering over 2 million people. I was unable to continue with the convoy, and so in 2010, I joined the Freedom Flotilla which attempted to break the blockade by sea.

At the time, I had my camera in hand and was seeking to create a documentary film about the Freedom Flotilla event, which I hoped would culminate in our arrival in Gaza with our humanitarian aid and would put an end to the blockade. Instead, the Israeli military attacked our flotilla in international waters, killing 10 of our brothers, and wounding and imprisoning the hundreds of us who survived. I created a documentary film about this instead.
   
However, that attack and others have not deterred people of conscience globally from continuing in their attempts to break this illegal blockade, and alleviate the dire situation of the people of Gaza and restore their human rights. It behooves us to stand in support and solidarity with these brave souls (freedomflotilla.org), who risk putting their lives on the line, for fellow human beings in a faraway land.

Accordingly, I unequivocally support the efforts of the Canadian Boat to Gaza and endorse it, and invite you to do the same. I invite you to follow their news, promote their actions and bolster their work financially through donations (canadaboatgaza.org/donate) , to help fulfil their noble cause. Let us stand up and end this, since our governments will not.

In solidarity,
Rifat Audeh
Director – The Truth: Lost at Sea  https://truthlostatsea.com/

Those who can benefit from a charitable tax receipt in the US  may wish to donate through the US Boat to Gaza page:
https://2018boatstogaza-nonviolenceinternational.natio nbuilder.com/contribute
In other parts of the world, please consider donating through one our other partner campaigns in the Freedom Flotilla:  https://sgf.freedom flotilla.org/donate

Please share our messages and forward them; Merci de partager et de faire suivre nos messages.

Twitter: @CanadaBoatGaza @GazaFFlotilla
www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaz a/                      www.facebook.com/BateauCanadi enGaza/
www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotil laCoalition/  

Donate to Canadian Boat to Gaza online (canadaboatgaza.org/donate) or by postal mail. Make out cheque or money order to Turtle Island Humanitarian Aid and mail it to:

Canadian Boat to Gaza
PO Box 1950, London Stn. B
London, Ontario N6A 5J4
CANADA

 

Six Miles out: a day in the life of Gaza fishers

Le texte français suit*

On the windy evening of January 4, 2017, 33-year-old Muhammad al-Hissi of Gaza set out with 13 of his brothers, cousins and uncles to make a living the only way they know how: fishing. But he never came home.

 

The family was spread out in three different boats, with the waves choppy and stiff, when the Israeli Navy appeared on the scene. The 60-ton ship rammed into Muhammad's wooden boat and crushed it like a rock on an egg. Palestinian fishermen and the Israeli navy searched for Muhammad for three days, but his body was never found. The boat's electric generator may have dismembered his body.

 

Muhammad was one of two Palestinian fishermen killed by the Israeli navy in 2017. Four others were injured, 14 were detained and five boats were seized. However, shootings at Gaza fishermen by the Israeli navy are daily occurrences, terrorizing and forcing many to abandon the sea. This pattern is set to continue into the new year, with the recent decision by Israeli officials to restrict Gaza fishermen to 6 nautical miles instead of the recently allowed 9 (only in the southern coast).

 

Help us shine a light on this violation of the right to earn a living. new, short documentary, “Six Miles Out,”—produced by the We Are Not Numbers team in Gaza, with funds from the Solidarity with Gaza Fishers project of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition—features al-Hissi’s brother and cousin, who take us with them for a night of fishing. You will see for yourself just what it’s like when Israeli “hornets” suddenly appear on the scene. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r113lDH2VDY

 

Please share this 11-minute film on social media with a personalized observation. Send a link to your followers via email (this is actually the most effective). The film is subtitled in French, Spanish and Greek (use the the Youtube "gear" icon near the bottom left to turn on different languages). What can viewers do to help? They can donate to We Are Not Numbers, a Gaza-based youth storytelling project, to keep its work going. They also can visit the Freedom Flotilla website to find out how to support the 2018 sailing to challenge the blockade of Gaza’s seaport.

 

 

Read more here: http://canadaboatgaza.org/2017/11/03/freedom-flotilla-to-sail-again-for-freedom-of-movement-and-a-decent-future-for-all-palestinians/#more-1313 

 

*texte français:                                                                                          

Sortir six miles au large: une journée dans la vie des pêcheurs de Gaza

Ce soir du 4 janvier 2017, il faisait du vent quand  Muhammad al-Hissi de Gaza, 34 ans, a pris la mer avec 13 de ses frères, cousins et oncles, pour gagner sa vie de la seule façon qu'ils connaissent : en pêchant. Mais il n'est jamais revenu.

 

La famille était répartie sur trois bateaux et la mer était agitée,  avec des vagues courtes, quand la marine israélienne est apparue sur les lieux. Le navire de 60 tonnes a éperonné le bateau en bois de Muhammad et l'a écrasé comme une pierre aplatirait un œuf.

 

Les pêcheurs palestiniens et la marine israélienne ont cherché le corps de Muhammad pendant trois jours mais il ne fut jamais retrouvé. Il est possible que le moteur ait déchiré son corps en morceaux. 

 

Muhammad est l'un des deux pêcheurs tués par la marine israélienne en 2017. Quatre autres furent blessés, quatorze arrêtés et cinq bateaux furent confisqués.

 

Mais les tirs de la marine israélienne sur les pêcheurs de Gaza se produisent tous les jours. Ils terrorisent les pêcheurs et contraignent nombre d'entre eux à renoncer à la mer.

 

Et ce schéma va continuer en cette année nouvelle puisque les responsables israéliens ont décidé récemment de restreindre les pêcheurs de Gaza à une zone de 6 miles nautiques au lieu des 9 miles récemment autorisés -seulement  dans le sud.

 

Aidez nous à mettre en évidence cette violation du droit de gagner sa vie. Un nouveau documentaire court, “Sortir six miles au large”—produit par l'équipe de  We Are Not Numbers à Gaza, financé par le projet Solidarité avec les pêcheurs de Gaza porté par la Coalition de la Flottille de la Liberté—présente le frère et le cousin de al-Hissi, qui nous amènent à bord pour une nuit de pêche.  Vous verrez par vous mêmes ce qu'il en est quand les « frelons » israéliens apparaissent brusquement . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r113lDH2VDY

 

Partagez s'il vous plaît ce film de 11 minutes sur les réseaux sociaux avec un commentaire personnel. Envoyez un lien à vos « followers » via e-mail (c'est ce qui est le plus efficace). Le film est sous-titré en français, espagnol et grec (utilisez l'icône “engrenage” en bas à gauche sur Youtube pour choisir la langue ). 

 

Que peuvent faire ceux qui vont visionner le film ?  Ils peuvent envoyer un don à We Are Not Numbers, un projet pour raconter des histoires mené par des jeunes basés à Gaza , afin de leur permettre de continuer.

Ils peuvent aussi se rendre sur le site de la Flottille de la Liberté pour chercher comment soutenir l'action de la Flottille en 2018 qui entend briser le blocus du port de Gaza.

 

 

Open letter to UN secretary general António Guterres

To: António Guterres, Secretary-General United Nations
United Nations
New York

October 4, 2017

Dear Secretary General,

On your recent visit to Gaza, you saw with your own eyes some of the deplorable and inhumane conditions suffered by the Palestinians living in Gaza. You called it “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises” that you had seen. We hope that, backed by the strength of the United Nations, this experience encourages you to bring maximum pressure on the State of Israel to lift the illegal and inhumane blockade the people of Gaza have been living under for ten years.

We want to remind you that there are many civil society and religious groups around the world who are watching the worsening situation in horror. We are depending on the United Nations, under your leadership, to work at the international level to increase the pressure from all nation states to use every economic and political measure to remind the State of Israel of the standards expected of the civilized nations of the world.

 

We are also pleased that you noticed specifically that the blockade on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt is upheld by that Arab state in defiance of both international resolutions and a sense of solidarity with a fellow Arab people. Israel is imposing the blockade not only by land, but also by air. They have destroyed Gaza airport, which was financed with international aid (including from Spain). At sea, Israeli forces attack Palestinian fishers from Gaza on a daily basis. They also illegally attack international vessels that challenge the blockade non-violently in the Freedom Flotilla missions that have taken place since 2010.

There are political reasons that make a resolution to the crisis of Gaza imperative at the international level. But even more important are the humanitarian reasons to release an entire people from the appalling situation in which they are currently forced to live.

Your own officers and researchers have concluded that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. Many other reports, including those by the UN, have documented the many threats to the health and even the survival of people in Gaza. The UN has drawn particular attention to the power deficit. Since April 2017 access to electricity is often for four hours or less per day and always unpredictable. Power cuts make sewage treatment impossible leading to pollution of the beaches. Attacks on inshore fishers deprive the people of access to the nutritional value of fish. Your own research has shown up to 57% of Gaza people are ‘food insecure’. Not only is the Gaza economy paralyzed by the blockade, but restrictions on entry of building materials makes it very difficult to reconstruct bombed schools, for example.  The blockade also restricts entry of school supplies and other goods that pose no threat to Israel whatsoever. This entire generation of children and young people in Gaza are growing up without the minimum to develop into educated and well-nourished adults.

The situation is so serious that you have announced an emergency grant of $4 million. But the Palestinians of Gaza do not want to have to take emergency payouts; they want – and need – a cessation of Israeli aggression and real international peace-keeping to prevent further aggression. The so-called “Middle East Quartet” has been a disaster, accomplishing nothing and whitewashing Israeli violation of international law and the breaking of numerous agreements. The State of Israel has also ignored countless UN resolutions aimed at curtailing its activities, as well as continuing the illegal blockade of Gaza and the harassment of its fishing fleets.

In other words, despite its good intentions, the UN has a deplorable record in effectively safeguarding the Palestinians of Gaza and in promoting their security and independence.

We call on you to immediately:

  • Demand that the State of Israel complies with all UN resolutions, with the threat of sanctions if it does not do so.
  • Disband the Middle East Quartet and replace it with an effective oversight body.
  • Resume real peace keeping and effective protection of the civil population of Gaza.
  • Insist that the State of Israel respects and conforms with all UN resolutions that relate to its relations with Gaza.
  • Ensure that the world knows that the blockade is illegal and should demand that it be removed immediately.

Sincerely and persistently,

Freedom Flotilla Coalition Members and Partners
Canadian Boat to Gaza
Freedom Flotilla Italy
Kia Ora Gaza [New Zealand / Aotearoa]
MyCARE Malaysia
Palestine Solidarity Alliance [South Africa]
Rumbo a Gaza [Spain]
Ship to Gaza Norway
Ship to Gaza Sweden
International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza
US Boat to Gaza
Miles of Smiles
Free Gaza Australia 

Other Organizations

Gaza Action Ireland
Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
ShannonWatch (Ireland)
Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine
Council of Canadians / Conseil des Canadiens
Bestemødre For Fred (Grandmothers For Peace, Norway)
Veterans for Peace (US)
CODEPINK: Women for Peace (US)
Voice of Women for Peace (Canada)
Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine (France)
Palestina Solidariteit (Belgium)
Association France Palestine Solidarité
Cultura e libertà (Italy)
Alternative refugee Center (Switzerland)
Badil resource center for Palestinian residency and refugee rights
Women for development (Switzerland)
Union Juive Française pour la Paix (France)
Deutsch-Palästinensische Gesellschaft (Germany)
Frauen in Schwarz, Wien (Austria)
Netherlands Palestine Committee
Palestijnse Gemeenschap in Nederland
Nederlands Arabische Stichting
TIYE International (Netherlands)
Diensten en Onderzoek Centrum Palestina (Netherlands)
Stop Represión Málaga, Voces Alternativas, Kontrapunto (Spain)
Breed Platform Palestina (Haarlem, Netherlands)
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (Gaza, Palestine)
Asociación de la Comunidad Hispano-Palestina “Jerusalén” (Spain)
Asociación Medica Hispano Palestina (Spain)
Asociación Pablo de la Torriente Brau
El movimiento de mujeres palestinas Alkarama
RESCOP – Network of Solidarity against the occupation of Palestine (with 49 member organizations in Spain)
Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (Malaysia)
Viva Palestina Malaysia 
BDS Malaysia
Persatuan Ulama Malaysia
Al-Quds Foundation Malaysia
Association of Norwegian NGOs for Palestine
Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos
Parallelo Palestina (Italy)
Canadian BDS Coalition
Palestine Solidarity Network  (Edmonton, Canada)
People for Peace (London, Canada)
United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (Canada)
Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR), Canada
Boundary Peace Initiative
Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Palestine Solidarity Working Group (Sudbury, Canada)
B.C. Southern Interior Peace Coalition (Canada)
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (Victoria, Canada)
Hawai’i Peace and Justice
Hawai’i Coalition for Justice in Palestine
Malu ‘Aina Center for Nonviolence Education
Break the Maritime Blockade of Gaza (BMBG)
EBN – End Blockade Now
Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine (France)
Collectif inter-universitaire pour la coopération avec les universités palestiniennes (France)
Comité de Vigilance pour une Paix Réelle au Proche-Orient
Comité La Courneuve-Palestine (France)
Zambra Málaga (Spain)
Confederación General de Trabajadores: Huelva, Málaga, Osuna
Christian Peacemaker Teams (Palestine)
Independent Jewish Voices / Voix juives indépendantes (Canada)
Palestinian Forum in Britain PFB
Europal Forum (UK)
BDS Colombia
BDS Slovenia
New Zealand Palestine Solidarity Network (Aotearoa / NZ)
New Zealand Palestine Human Rights Campaign (Aotearoa / NZ)

Freedom Flotilla Coalition Donates Materials to over 400 Fishers in Gaza

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC), an international coalition composed of civil society groups demanding an end to the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza, recently sent fishing materials to Palestinian fishers in Gaza. In cooperation with several Palestinian and international organisations, the FFC has responded to the increasingly desperate plight of fishers in Gaza who are unable to feed their families due to restrictions on fishing imposed by the Israeli occupiers. Materials distributed in the ports of Gaza and Deir Balah include:

  • fishing nets – two types (Shanshoulah and Monefel, 2×3 and 2×1.5cm respectively), sufficient for 140 fishers.
  • fishing suits – sufficient for 79 fishers’use.
  • Marine boat lighting – 342 distributed, for over 200 fishers to use.

Although the FFC’s primary goals are political rather than humanitarian, we recognize the dire circumstances of the over 2 million Palestinians living in Gaza and the importance of supporting its fishers and their work in feeding their communities. This is why our current campaign focuses on Solidarity with Gaza Fishers and helps bring the stories of Palestinian fishers in Gaza to the world.

The FFC is making plans to sail again as soon as possible to challenge the destructive and criminal blockade. Updates on our sailing will be released on our website, as well as via Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom Flotilla launches Solidarity with Gaza Fishers campaign: new logo & website

solidarity with Gaza fishersCBG logoffc

About one billion people world-wide rely on fish as their primary protein source. Many of these people live in poverty and many of the world's 54 million fishers are also poor. Gaza, a 43km coastal strip of land, depends heavily on its inshore fishery to feed its population of nearly 2 million Palestinians.

​O​ver the past ten years, the ability of Palestinians in Gaza to ​make​ a living from ​fishing​ has been severely undermined as a result of fishing access limits imposed by the Israeli Occupation Forces along the Gaza coast.

Out of the 20 nautical mile zone that they were promised under the Oslo accords, Palestinians are restricted to a fishing zone of just three to six nautical miles off the Gaza shoreline, temporarily increased to nine nautical miles for the southern part of the Gaza coast in early May, and then reduced again. Fishers deemed to have exceeded the boundaries by Israel’s navy are shot​ at​, their boats are confiscated, and they are sometimes arrested or worse. Even within the restricted boundaries of six to nine nautical miles, Israeli forces sometimes open fire at Palestinians: earlier this month a Palestinian fisher was killed by Israeli gunfire inside the “permitted” zone.

Overfishing in the small area where Israel has allowed fishing over the years has depleted fish breeding grounds. In addition, the coastal areas are severely polluted by sewage that flows into the sea, often untreated because the waste treatment facilities in Gaza have been destroyed by Israeli attacks and remain unrepaired because of the blockade. ​

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition has launched a new project called Solidarity with Gaza Fishers, in partnership with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), who represent fishers in Gaza. The winning logo for this project (above) was provided by our friends at the UAWC. ​Our aim in the Solidarity with Gaza Fishers is to link the struggle of those under blockade and constant attacks with their counterparts in countries all over the world. Sustainable fishing is a way of life endangered by mostly political factors around the globe. We believe that by drawing attention to the situation of Palestinians in Gaza we will bring to the foreground not only the need to lift the inhuman and illegal Israeli blockade, but also the importance of respect for all fishers wherever they are.

Fishing everywhere is a difficult, often hazardous, way to make a living: for Palestinian fishers in Gaza, fishing has become extremely dangerous. We call on you to join us in this project by sharing information about the situation of Palestinian fishers in Gaza with other fishers, fishing organizations and civil society organizations close to you. Fishers and others can show solidarity by organizing events in your local community or fishing port, by flying Palestinian flags and banners of the project on their boats in symbolic protest, and by issuing statements of support. Some may even wish to consider donating part of the value of their catch to enable us to deliver fishing and boat fixing material to Gaza's fishers through an NGO that is part of our coalition.

We invite you to share the stories on our new website: sgf.freedomflotilla.org with your contacts near and far. Help us spread the word about both Palestinian fishers in Gaza and those who stand in solidarity with them in other parts of the world. If you are in touch with fishers or their organizations who want to share stories of their struggles, please put them in touch with us as well too. Together, we can end the blockade and help Palestinians win their fundamental rights.

In solidarity,

the Canadian Boat to Gaza Team

Please follow our campaigns on Twitter @CanadaBoatGaza @GazaFFlotilla Facebook: www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza/ www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition/ Share our messages and forward them widely!

To support our work, see our NEW contact address: canadaboatgaza.org/donate/ or contact any of our Flotilla partners working on this project: sgf.freedomflotilla.org/donate

Palestinian fisher in Gaza dies after being shot by Israeli navy

Mohammed Majed Bakr, 25, dies after being shot by Israeli navy for 'deviating' from Israeli-imposed blockade zone.

A Palestinian fisherman from Gaza was fatally shot and four others arrested on Monday by the Israeli navy, which claimed their boat had breached its blockade off the northern Gaza Strip.

Mohammed Majed Bakr, 25, died hours after being shot on his boat off the coast of northern Gaza. His four crewmates were arrested.

The Israeli military said the vessel was fired on when it allegedly "deviated" from its designated fishing zone, imposed as part of a blockade of the strip.

It then ignored warning shots, the military said.

"As a result of the fire a Palestinian was injured and was evacuated to an Israeli hospital for immediate medical treatment."

UN officials have called for the blockade to be lifted, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions, but Israel says it is needed to keep Hamas, which runs the strip, from importing weapons or materials used to make them.

The size of the fishing zone was set at 20 nautical miles by the Oslo accords of the 1990s. However, it has been reduced by the Israelis to three miles.

Palestinian fishermen collect fish from their nets in Gaza City on January 27, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED

Israel's blockade has impoverished the 4,000 Gaza's fishermen. The International Committee of the Red Cross says 90 percent of them live below the poverty line.
From: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/gaza-fisherman-dies-after-being-shot-israeli-navy-1513462499

Local Activist Shares Grim Story of Her Efforts to Help Palestinian Farmers

This story was initially published in theovercast.ca

https://theovercast.ca/local-activist-shares-grim-story-of-her-efforts-to-help-palestinian-farmers/

Marilyn Porter is on the steering committee of the Canadian Boat to Gaza.

 

BY CHAD PELLEY ON APRIL 5, 2017

Sociology Professor Emerita Marilyn Porter recently returned from a trip to Israel, where she was the sole Canadian on a team of 45 people experiencing, firsthand, how the Israeli government is harassing and displacing Palestinian farmers.  

The farmers live in an area that is supposedly under Palestinian control, yet they’re constantly subject to harassment and displacement by Israeli forces. They’re even required to have permits to move from one village to another, drive on certain roads, farm, etc.

The Israeli Wall has made matters worse. The Wall is over 700 kilometres long, and it isolates thousands of Palestinians, making it difficult for them to engage economically and socially with their community.

As Marilyn explains, “The Wall dominates the Palestinian landscape, splitting many communities in two. In their day-to-day lives Palestinians are forced to travel many extra miles to farm their land or visit their relatives.”

Porter and her team were there to help families plant olive tree saplings.  Olive trees are vital to Palestinian farmers, but these farmers are regularly confronted by the Israeli army, who threaten to (or do) confiscate property. It’s something Porter witnessed firsthand.

She says that Palestinian farmers whose land is close to the Wall, or close to illegal Israeli settlements suffer the most. According to the UN, 80% have seen a decrease in their yields since 2015.

In the Bethlehem area alone in 2014 (latest UN figures), “85% of the land had been taken over by the Israeli government for settlement expansion ‘nature reserves’ or military zones, and 70 Palestinian residential areas have outstanding eviction orders.”

She has witnessed the grim struggle of Palestinian farmers herself. Israeli settlers uprooted her efforts right before her eyes, destroying the hundreds of olive trees her team planted, a mere day after they were set in soil.

“The day before the Israeli settlers uprooted our trees,” she says, “they had stood around in threatening ways, and then summoned the Israeli security forces to drive us off the farmer’s land.” They were heavily armed.

Later that night, they uprooted and destroyed hundreds of olive trees. “We were advised by the local NGO we were working with that there was no recourse and, indeed, that it might be hazardous for our farmer to even report the attack.”

The UN documents attacks by settlers on Palestinians, and their land. It is on record that more than half of Palestinians (54%) have suffered physical attacks or attacks on their property last year.

“Fully armed soldiers — many of them very young — are everywhere and can, and do, demand to see papers and permits at any point. This happened one day when we were working. Our farmer had all the permits necessary, including for us to be helping him, but we were still driven off by a group of armed soldiers and had to stop our work.”

Porter has been committed for years to the plight of Palestinians “in their struggle to establish an economically and socially stable state, free of harassment and control.”

Porter was in Israel as part of the The Joint Advocacy Initiative’s  Keep Hope Alive olive planting initiative. You can catch her speaking about her experience tonight at 7 pm, at Memorial University (Room A-1043). The talk is titled, “The Olive Tree Campaign: How Palestinians Resist the Israeli Wall.”