Tag Archives: Zaytouna-Oliva

Statement from Members of European Parliament (5 October 2016)


Reposted from https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/news/statement-from-members-of-european-parliament

Statement from Members of European Parliament (5 October 2016)

“Today at 15:58 the Women’s Boat to Gaza, Zaytouna-Oliva, has lost communication, and we can presume that the Israeli Occupation Navy has surrounded it in International Waters (Lat +31.906033 Lon +33.757630). This is inside the self-proclaimed “military exclusion zone” imposed unilaterally and illegally by the Israeli government, in contravention of international law. We call on all governments, public officials and people of conscience to support publically the right of unimpeded passage for peaceful civilian navigation, and the physical integrity of the crew and participants on board, and to support full freedom of movement for all peoples, in particular the Palestinians of Gaza. We demand European authorities to take action now to assure information from the activists and to demand their immediate liberation.”

1. Marina Albiol (GUE/NGL)
2. Malin Björk (GUE/NGL)
3. Dimitrios Papadimoulis (GUE/NGL, Vice-President of the European Parliament)
4. Paloma López (GUE/NGL)
5. Izaskun Bilbao (ALDE)
6. Eleonora Forenza (GUE/NGL)
7. Pascal Durand (Greens/EFA)
8. Bart Staes (Greens/EFA)
9. Ana Maria Gomes (S&D)
10. Tania González (GUE/NGL)
11. Estefanía Torres (GUE/NGL)
12. Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/NGL)
13. Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL)
14. Josep-Maria Terricabras (Greens/EFA)
15. Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL)
16. Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL)
17. Ernest Urtasun (Greens/EFA)
18. Margrete Auken (Greens/EFA)
19. Lola Sánchez (GUE/NGL)
20. Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL)
21. Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL)
22. Liadh Ní Riada (GUE/NGL)
23. Soraya Post (S&D)
24. Eva Joly (Greens/EFA)
25. Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D)
26. Yannick Jadot (Greens/EFA)
27. Jill Evans (Greens/EFA)
28. Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL)
29. Rina Ronja Kari (GUE/NGL)
30. Javier Couso (GUE/NGL)
31. Marita Ulvskog (S&D)
32. Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL)
33. Nessa Childers (S&D)
34. Julie Ward (S&D)
35. Iratxe García Pérez (S&D)
36. Joao Ferreira (GUE/NGL)
37. Joao Pimenta (GUE/NGL)
38. Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL)
39. Neoklis Sylikiotis (GUE/NGL)
40. Ivo Vajgl (ALDE)
41. Lidia Senra (GUE/NGL)
42. Michèle Rivasi (Greens/EFA)
43. Karima Delli (Greens/EFA)
44. Josu Juaristi (GUE/NGL)
45. Sergio Cofferati (S&D)

Zaytouna-Oliva intercepted in International Waters and the 13 human rights activists on their way to Gaza kidnapped

This afternoon at 15:58 (CEST) on 5 October, the Israeli Occupation Navy surrounded the Zaytouna-Oliva in International Waters and kidnapped the 13 human rights activists on their way to Gaza. A list of all the women on board can be found here https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/participants-on-board-messina-to-gaza

The IOF began to intercept the boat around the same time as the IOF were bombing Gaza earlier this afternoon, one of Israel's many breaches of the ceasefire this year. 

The Women’s Boat to Gaza is calling for their immediate release as well as the release of our boat, seized in an act of state piracy in international waters about 40 nautical miles from the Port of Gaza.

Continue reading Zaytouna-Oliva intercepted in International Waters and the 13 human rights activists on their way to Gaza kidnapped

Update Day 6: Zaytouna-Oliva Sailing Peacefully Towards Palestine

picture-aboard-z-o-1-october-1125x480Mediterranean Sea, International Waters, North West of Palestine. Zaytouna-Oliva is continuing as planned on her route to Gaza, Palestine, where our sisters and brothers are preparing for her arrival.

Participants aboard the boat are busy conducting interviews with media outlets to further increase awareness of their trip and the illegal blockade. According to Mairead Maguire, who was awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize: “We sail to Gaza, a 7-day, l,000 mile journey, because our love for all the suffering children is as deep as the Mediterranean Sea on which we sail … As in Gaza, so too around our world millions of children are suffering because of government policies of militarism and war and violence of armed struggles, etc. and this cycle of escalating violence must be broken, lest it spin out of control and cause final disaster for the human family… it is not too late, we can turn around from war to peace, from foes to friendship, from hate to forgiveness and love, it is a choice. We are powerful each in our own way. We can, when we believe passionately in love, change to a non-killing, non-violent world.

Why do I believe such a world is possible? Because on this little boat, rocking gently under the sails, I feel loved and can only be in awe of the beauty of nature, and the magnificence and beauty of the human spirit in the women, with whom I can say, show love in their eyes and actions…”

Update Day 5: Zaytouna-Oliva receives repairs and supplies south of Crete


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
E-mail: ellen.huttu.hansson@gmail.com
Photo credit: Kia Ora Gaza (New Zealand/ Aotearoa).

Update from Zaytouna-Oliva Day 3 and 4: Morale is good


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”.


Update from Zaytouna-Oliva, Day 2

women-on-boat-28-9-16Our course remains the conscience of humanity.

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.



Zaytouna-Oliva departs for Gaza; Amal-Hope II to follow soon


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

Email: lucia.intruglio@gmail.com / wendy goldsmith 

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

Continue reading Zaytouna-Oliva departs for Gaza; Amal-Hope II to follow soon

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.