Zaytouna-Oliva leaves Ajaccio, Corsica for Messina, Italy – its final European port before sailing to break the illegal blockade of Gaza

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 MessinaSicily, 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: miriamswell@hotmail.com    +1-416-716-4010

Irene Macinnes: iremac@shaw.ca   +1-778-870-2448

 

Donate: 

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

https://womensboatgaza-nonviolenceinternational.nationbuilder.com/contribute

 

Other ways to get involved:

Follow us at www.canadaboatgaza.org and freedomflotilla.org

www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition/ and www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza/

Twitter @GazaFFlotilla  @CanadaBoatGaza 

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

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

Zaytouna is half way to Ajaccio. Searching for a replacement of Amal

September 17, 2016

For Immediate Release 

Barcelona, SpainAs Zaytouna-Oliva makes its way towards Ajaccio, France; the Women’s Boat to Gaza* (WBG) releases its passenger list, which includes women from nine countries across five continents. The list (found here) includes parliamentarian Malin Björk, a Swedish member of the EU parliament; Spanish actress Rosana Pastor Muñoz; and Yudit Ilany of Israel who serves as advisor to Knesset member Haneen Zoabi.

Meanwhile, sister ship Amal-Hope remains in Barcelona following her return to that port because of mechanical problems (we had such problems in previous missions). Based on a professional assessment, she will not be in a condition to follow Zaytouna.  Organizers are actively pursuing a new ship and will be launching a campaign to defray this additional cost. Zaytouna-Oliva is estimated to arrive in Ajaccio on Monday, September 19. The passenger list, which will change with each leg will be updated and shared throughout the journey. 

With regard to the Amal-Hope, Jaldia Abubakra, a passenger from Spain/Palestine, said, “we are sorry to leave her behind. But we carry Amal-Hope in our hearts.” 

For more information:

Ellen Huttu Hansson: +46 722 883 213 ellen.huttu.hansson@gmail.com
Other media contacts: https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/media-room

* 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. For more information, visit www.womensboattogaza.org.

In Canada please contact:
Sandra Ruch: miriamswell@hotmail.com    +1-416-716-4010
Irene Macinnes: iremac@shaw.ca   +1-778-870-2448

Donate: 
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
https://womensboatgaza-nonviolenceinternational.nationbuilder.com/contribute

Other ways to get involved:
Follow us at www.canadaboatgaza.org and freedomflotilla.org
www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition/ and www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza/
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla  @CanadaBoatGaza
 

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

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

Barcelona Hosts Women’s Boat to Gaza for inaugural journey / Barcelone accueille le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza

For immediate release (le texte en français suit*)

From September 12-14, the sailing vessels Amal-Hope and Zaytouna-Oliva will moor at Bosch i Alsina dock in the port of Barcelona where various events (concerts, talks, nonviolent workshops, a street parade and visits to the boats) will take place as farewell for the women leaving to break the blockade on Gaza.

Zaytouna and Amal at a port in Spaisn

According to Laura Arau, with Rumba a Gaza, Spain’s WBG partner, the launch point from Barcelona has special meaning for the community there.  “We have been a sister city with Gaza since 1998, yet we have been unable to visit with one another,” she says.  “We want our sisters in Gaza to know they are not forgotten and that with these boats and women, we are sending to them our message of hope, love and solidarity.” 

The boats will depart on September 14th to Ajaccio, France and then travel through another Western Mediterranean port before reaching the shores of Gaza in early October.  For the Barcelona-Ajaccio leg, the passenger lists include Malin Björk, a Member of European Parliament from Sweden; Zohar Chamberlain Regev, an Israeli who currently lives in Spain and Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the invasion of Iraq. 

The women participants, who differ for each leg of the journey, represent over 15 countries across six continents. However, as Chamberlain Regev, who chairs WBG’s steering committee, explains “While we come from very different cultural and professional backgrounds, we all share a common bond. We find the blockade of Gaza and the occupation of Palestine absolutely unacceptable. And as long as governments continue to ignore this political-humanitarian crisis, we, as global citizens of goodwill, have no choice but to continue our efforts to break this inhumane blockade."  

For a schedule of program activities Barcelona, see here.

Press Contact in Barcelona: Laura Arau, Spanish, Catalan  (+34) 636 00 36 01 /prensa@rumboagaza.org
Wendy Goldsmith (English) Spokesperson in Barcelona until departure (Sept. 14): (+34) 691-179-722. 
David Heap (français; español; English) (+1) 519-859-3579 or (+34) 602 649 690 (until Sept. 15) 
Or see campaign media spokespeople here: https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/media-room

* 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. For more information, visit www.womensboattogaza.org.

*Pour publication immédiate.

Entre le 12 et le 14 septembre prochains, les Bateaux des femmes pour Gaza, le Amal-Hope et le Zaytouna-Oliva, seront amarrés  à Bosch i Alsina,  dans le port de Barcelone. Plusieurs événements y auront lieu (concerts, conférences-échanges, ateliers sur la non violence, parade dans les rues et visites des bateaux) en signe d’au revoir aux femmes qui prendront la mer dans le but de briser le blocus de Gaza.

Selon Laura Arau, du groupe musical Rumba a Gaza, partenaire du Bateau des femmes pour Gaza en Espagne, faire partir les bateaux de Barcelone revêt une signification très spéciale pour cette communauté. Nous avons été une ville sœur avec Gaza depuis 1998  et pourtant nous n’avons jamais pu nous visiter mutuellement a-t-elle affirmé. Nous voulons que nos sœurs de Gaza sachent que nous ne les oublions pas et qu’avec ces bateaux et les femmes qui  y participent, nous leur envoyons notre message d’espoir, d’amour et de solidarité.

Les bateaux partiront le 14 septembre d’Ajaccio en Corse (France) pour se rendre dans un autre port de la côte ouest de la Méditerranée avant de rejoindre les rives de Gaza au début d’octobre. Pour l’étape Barcelone-Ajaccio la liste des passagères comprend Malin Björk, députée suédoise au Parlement européen; Zohar Chamberlain Regev, une israélienne vivant en Espagne et Ann Wright, une colonelle retraitée  de l’armée américaine et ancienne diplomate qui a démissionné de son poste en 2003  pour protester contre l’invasion de l’Irak par les États-Unis.

Les femmes montant à bord des bateaux, et dont le nombre varie selon les étapes, représentent plus de 15 pays venant de six continents. Par ailleurs comme l’explique Chamberlain Regev, qui préside le comité de coordination du Bateau des femmes pour Gaza : Même si nous venons d’horizons culturels et professionnels très différents, nous partageons toutes un même engagement. Nous pensons que le blocus de Gaza et l’occupation de la Palestine sont absolument inacceptables. Et tant et aussi longtemps que les gouvernements continueront d’ignorer cette crise politico-humanitaire, nous, en tant que citoyennes du monde et femmes de bonne volonté n’avons d’autre choix que de poursuivre inlassablement nos efforts  pour briser ce blocus inhumain. 

Pour la programmation des activités prévues à Barcelone : voir ici.

Personne-contact auprès des medias: Laura Arau (espagnol, catalan) +34 636 00 36 01 / prensa@rumboagaza.org 

Wendy Goldsmith (anglais) porte-parole à Barcelone jusqu'au départ (14 september ): (+34) 691-179-722. 
David Heap (français; español; English) (+1) 519-859-3579 or (+34) 602 649 690 (jusqu'au 15 septembre) 

Ou contacter les porte-paroles de la campagne ici: https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/media-room

Le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza est une initiative de la Coalition des Flottilles de la Liberté, constituée d’organisations de la société civile et de campagnes qui se déploient dans plus d’une douzaine de pays.

 

 

 

GAZA: TWO YEARS SINCE THE 2014 HOSTILITIES – A report from The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

AUGUST 2016

KEY FACTS

  • Of the approximately 100,000 Palestinians who had their homes destroyed or severely damaged during the 2014 hostilities, 65,000 remain displaced; over half of them may not receive any cash assistance during the second half of 2016, due to lack of funding.
  • Some 900 people, a third of them children, sustained some form of permanent disability during the hostilities and about 100 underwent amputation of limbs.
  • Over 160,000 children are estimated to be in need of continuous psychosocial support.
  • Since the ceasefire, 17 civilians have been killed, and 100 have been injured by explosive remnants of war (ERW), including 46 children. Some 3,300 items of ERW have been safely removed and 87 hazardous sites are yet to be cleared.
  • All 78 hospitals and clinics damaged during the conflict were repaired, reconstruction of three totally destroyed clinics is ongoing, and rebuilding of one hospital destroyed is yet to start.
  • Of the seven totally destroyed schools, reconstruction of one is complete and work on the other six is ongoing; all the 252 damaged schools have been repaired.
  • Repair of about two-thirds of the damage to the water and sanitation infrastructure and equipment is complete or underway, with the remaining third lacking funding; most households receive piped water only for a few hours every 2-4 days.
  • Only half of the open-field crop areas, 18% of tree orchards, and 16% of greenhouses damaged or destroyed during the hostilities, have been restored, undermining farmers’ livelihoods and food production.
  • Only 27% of the funding requested in the Humanitarian Response Plan 2016 for Gaza-specific projects has so far been received. 

Read and download the entire report here

Statements of Support for the Women’s Boat to Gaza

Dimitri Lascaris is a lawyer and Justice Critic of the Green Party of Canada. He speaks here in a personal capacity and not as a representative of any political party. 
Dimitri also presented a resolution which was adopted by the Green party of Canada convention on August 7, 2016: Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions 
Following the adoption of this resolution, Independent Jewish Voices Canada issued this statement: IJV Congratulates The Green Party Of Canada On The Passage Of Its Historic Palestinian Rights Resolutions

 

Libby Davies is a retired Canadian MP. In 2009, in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, she travelled to Palestine, co-authoring a report on both Gaza and the West Bank.

Supreme Court of Israel: Release Ship to Gaza’s Estelle

PRESS RELEASE: 2016-08-07 22:45

In a ruling issued by the Supreme Court of Israel, under the presidency of Miriam Naor, the state of Israel is ordered to immediately release and return the vessel ”Estelle” to its owners, the Swedish human rights organisation Ship to Gaza. The ship was boarded and seized by IDF in the fall 2012 during an attempt to break the inhumane blockade of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

The Finnish flagged S/V Estelle departed from Sweden in early summer of 2012. It visited ports in the Baltic, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean before it was attacked by Israeli military, 30 naval miles outside the coast of Gaza.

The Supreme Court ruled that the state should have immediately asked the court for the confiscation of the ship and shouldn’t have waited for ten months. The state did not conduct negotiations with the owner of the ship, did not respond to appeals by the owners and did not inform the owners about its intentions.

According to the ruling the state of Israel is required to pay the court costs of Ship to Gaza at the amount of 40000 NIS (approx 10500 USD).

Ship to Gaza will via our Israeli lawyers bring our claims against the state of Israel.

Together with its partners in Freedom Flotilla Ship to Gaza is right now planning a new action to break and abolish the devastating blockade of Gaza: Women´s Boat to Gaza will set sail in the middle of September.

For more info, contact Ship to Gaza´s spokesperson: Dror Feiler

Spokespersons

Mikael M Karlsson: +46 761 285 161
Dror Feiler: +46 702 855 777
Ellen Huttu Hansson: +46 722 883 213

Media Contact

media@shiptogaza.se

Media co-ordinator: Staffan Granér – +46 70 35 49 687

Stay updated

Facebook Twitter Google+

Ship to Gaza Sweden

info@shiptogaza.se
http://shiptogaza.se/en
Box 4081
10262 STOCKHOLM 
SWEDEN

The female fisher of Gaza

Story Written by: Nisreen Al-Khatib

Image of the Port of Gaza, from wearenotnumbers.org

"The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore."— Vincent Van Gogh

I believe, if Van Gogh was alive and to say that today, he'd be describing Gazan fishermen.

If you visit the Gaza seaport, you will see a variety of young and old, black and white, and injured and disabled fishermen who come from all areas of the Strip, forming a large and lively community despite an Israeli blockade that limits how far boats may sail. And you'd probably be surprised to see a lone female fisher among the roughly 2,000 men, because in Gaza it’s a male-dominated profession.

This is Madline Kullab, the 21-year-old female fisher from Gaza. Because we are the same age, and since life on the sea interests me intensely, I interviewed her recently to find out more about life as a female fisher in Gaza. Madline took me to her favorite place on the seaport to talk—the rocks by the shore. Colorful walls and blocks, decorated with graffiti by painters from some youth initiatives, were behind us and the tranquil sea was in front. A group of fishermen were chatting with each other to our left.

Madeline fishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madline, fishing

"Fishing is an inherited job,” explained Madline. “My involvement started with my father. When I was a kid, he used to take me with him to the sea to help him. He was suffering from a disease since 1990, and it intensified when I was 13. He had to stop working, and because I am the eldest, and the one with some experience in fishing, I took his place."

When she first started, she said, “I faced some difficulties with people who didn't know me when I was a kid. Most of the young fishermen, policemen and others didn't accept me, since I was the first, and only, girl to occupy such a job. I had to prove myself and hold on until I earned respect. With the flow of time, they came to know me and things got easier. Nowadays, the relationship between me and my co-workers is very fraternal. We're one strong and loving family."

Madline pointed at a man sitting next to her. He had sharp eyes, a dark tanand black hair, and he looked to be in his 40s. She said, "Mr. Zakariyya is one of the people who helped me the most to endure all the hardships I faced." I looked at him curiously so he smiled and said, "I'm a father more than a friend of hers."

Zakariyya, or Abu Ayed, as everyone he knows calls him, is the coordinator of the fishermen's committees, a member of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and a friend of Madline’s father. He stood by her side during all of the hardships and taught her the fishing process step by step. "I used to take her with me when I went fishing to teach her how to be a professional fisher,” he recalled. “We mostly depend on the fishing nets in this job. We first prepare the nets and make sure of their quality before throwing them into the sea, often with the help of other fishermen. The steps seem pretty simple, yet the process is difficult. It takes as long as 48 hours to collect a good catch, and it requires patience and physical strength."

Gaza fishermen work with nets

Abu Ayed added that although Israel’s blockade on the Strip allows fishing only six nautical miles offshore, when the best fish are 12 or more miles out, the fishermen still manage to catchsardines, shrimp and different types of mullet. And they add a unique touch to the fishing process with their folk songs and chants, often invented by the fishermen themselves. When they throw their nets into the sea, or when the harvest is large, they start cheering or singing songs like, "Wele'dda? Bedhasardeen. Weldar? Walamalleen. WeljebaBedhadananeer" (What about equipment? It lacks sardines. And the house? It lacks money. And the pocket? It lacks pocks].Another goes like this: "Sallisalli, 'ala el-nabi, salli w soom, el-rezqydoom…" [Say peace be upon the prophet, pray and fast, so that the profit may forever last.]

Abu Ayed looked at Madline and said, "Madline herself is a story of struggle. From the beginning of the job she was one of the most professional in using a rowboat. She was just 8 years old when she tried it the first time."

Of all the difficulties with which Madline dealt , whether on her own or with the help of her family and Abu Ayed, there was one she could not solve: the Israeli occupation. "I can't recall all the dangerous situations I've been through while fishing,” she recounted.“Every fisherman [who] gets close to the border region [will] have his fishing nets or boat confiscated, and be shot or even detained by the Israeli naval forces. Personally, I had my fishing nets confiscated once and I have been fired at many times. So I try to avoid sailing near the six-mile mark."

Abu Ayed continued, saying, “During the last war, all the fishermen collected their boats and other materials on the shore and hid them in their rooms [a group of rooms built beside each other in a building, where each fisherman keeps his fishing equipment and other personal belongings]. But the Israeli navy targeted the rooms and caused great losses to all the fishermen. Madline lost her two boats."

There's a lot about Madline people don't know. Behind her tough and stubborn personality, there is a girl who likes to embroider, design clothes and swim. In fact, she was chosen as the representative of Palestine for a swimming championship held in South Africa. However, the blockade of Gaza prevented her from travelling to participate in the contest. Madline also is an activist who has met with a number of national and international notables who have visited the Strip.

As I got ready to leave, I asked Madline how she sees her relationship with the sea. Both she and Abu Ayed agreed that, "a true fisherman is like a fish. If you take him away from the sea, you're taking his life out of his body." As for the future, she said, " I wish I can stay here with the sea. No matter how much I have endured, and how much I will, I'm always ready for more."

Mentor: Harry Giles
Originaly Posted December 11, 2015 , 
on: http://wearenotnumbers.org//home/Contributor/85

Women’s Boat to Gaza buys 1st boat & sets departure

Amal-Hope to sail from Barcelona on September 14
for immediate release                                          donate now

The Women's Boat to Gaza, a project of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, has acquired its first vessel. Amal-Hope will set sail from Barcelona on September 14, carrying women who plan to challenge the illegal blockade of Gaza.

picture of US boat to Gaza, 2011, Greece

In Barcelona, members of the community who support our mission will welcome the Amal-Hope. In 1998, Barcelona was 'twinned' with Gaza, with the goal of fostering international support. In 2005, the Barcelona Peace Park was inaugurated in Gaza but destroyed by the Israeli military in 2009. The park was rebuilt in 2010. As her name suggests, Amal-Hope will send a message of hope that the Peace Park and the whole of Gaza must never be bombed again.

Schedule of Events in Barcelona:
Monday 12 September – Music and festival at the port
Tuesday 13 September – Non-violent resistance workshops, local speakers and a tour of the boats
Wednesday 14 September – Local ceremony and departure

The Women's Boat to Gaza, with prominent women on board including Mairead Macguire, Naomi Wallace, Marama Davidson and Gerd von der Lippe, will visit ports in the Western Mediterranean before reaching the shores of Gaza on 1 October. 

Women’s Boat to Gaza initiative:
The Women’s Boat to Gaza is a Freedom Flotilla Coalition initiative. By launching a women’s flotilla, women from all over the world aim to highlight the undeniable contributions and indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora.

Gaza has been under Israeli blockade for the past decade, during which time Israel has also launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning their life into a nightmare and a continuous struggle. Through Freedom Flotillas and other maritime missions, we have brought international attention to their suffering and their resistance.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade, but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people. With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and from women’s collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is composed of civil society organizations and initiatives from many countries. We have been challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza for years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.


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
https://womensboatgaza-nonviolenceinternational.nationbuilder.com/contribute

To find and support other campaigns that are part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, please see: https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/donations

Other ways to get involved:
Follow us at www.canadaboatgaza.org and www.womensboattogaza.org
www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition/ and www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza/
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla  @CanadaBoatGaza

Thank you for your support. Together we can end the blockade of Gaza!

In Solidarity 
the Canadian Boat to Gaza team

   

Invitation to Journalists: Sail aboard the Women’s Boat to Gaza


Photo by: Joran Fagerlund

Dear journalists:

The women's Boat to Gaza (WBG) is a Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) initiative that will sail this September to challenge the Israeli blockade of Gaza.  For more info about WBG please visit:
https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/faq and see our latest press statement (https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/news/womens-boat-to-gaza-presented-at-the-european-parliament), released after our meeting with and receiving support from many Members of European Parliament in Brussels last month.

The Women's Boat to Gaza is an all-women mission where the boats will have only women on board: the crew, activists and prominent people sailing in support of the Palestinians of Gaza, as well as the journalists covering the voyage.

On board there will be a Nobel Laureate, Members of Parliament from different countries, Members of European Parliament, other eminent women and activists from over a dozen countries. This is an opportunity to share the stories and wisdom of Palestinian women in Gaza and the women of the world who support them. We aim not only to break the physical barriers of the blockade, but also to break the media silence and help the voices of Palestinian women in Gaza be heard.  

We are inviting interested women journalists (visual, audio, written) from various media organizations worldwide to join the mission. If you are interested please send your CV to delegates.wbg@gmail.com, specifying what support you can count on from your media organization, if any. If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at the same address.

Please note that space is limited so you are urged to contact us without delay if you are interested.  Deadline to receive applications is July 30, 2016.

WBG Steering Committee