Women’s Boat to Gaza presented at the European Parliament

May 31, 2016. World  Solidarity Day with Gaza.
Women's Boat to Gaza logoThe Women’s Boat to Gaza, Freedom Flotilla logoa campaign of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition conducted its meetings over the past weekend to discuss and further plans to set sail towards Gaza in mid-September with all women delegates and crew. In doing so we raise the issue of the ongoing illegal blockade of Gaza. Shabnam Mayet, Human Rights Advocate from South Africa says, “The Israeli occupation consistently both violates International Law and disregards UN Resolutions with impunity.”

Confirmed delegates who will be on the Flotilla include: Nobel Laureate (1976) and peace activist from Northern Ireland, Mairead Maguire and Green Party New Zealand Member of Parliament Marama Davidson. Further delegates will be announced in the coming weeks.

One of the important goals of our mission is to highlight the devastating effects of the brutal blockade on the Palestinian people living in Gaza. We will emphasize in particular the struggle of women, and their many roles within the resistance. Women in Gaza often fill the role of caring for and sustaining life, they are actively involved in community development and nation building. It is important to make their voices heard, even more so during periods of extreme injustice.

We also wish to acknowledge the anniversary of the massacre on the Mavi Marmara in 2010, when 10 non-violent activists were murdered by the Israeli Navy, an illegal act in international waters that continues to go unpunished. However, this brutal attack is nothing compared to the daily violence inflicted on Gaza with while the world remains silent.

A United Nations report states that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. Homes, schools and hospitals have been destroyed. 97% of water is not drinkable and electricity is reduced to a few hours per day. “Our project, supported by many women’s groups in Gaza and by civil society around the world, seeks to bring a message of solidarity and hope. In order to change this horrifying prediction the siege must be immediately lifted” says Ellen Huttu Hansson, spokesperson for Ship to Gaza Sweden.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition has asked for the support of members of the European Parliament for the Women’s Boat to Gaza and will seek assurances from all governments that they will protect and not obstruct its peaceful mission of solidarity to the besieged Palestinian people of Gaza.

For more information, contact +32 484 130 589

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This month, in celebration of Mother’s Day, we concluded our worldwide call to name the boats that will sail to Gaza in mid September. Amal-Hope and Zaytouna-Oliva will sail to Gaza in mid September. Both women’s names represent many languages. Amal symbolizes the hope that we will bring to the shores of Gaza and Zaytouna symbolizes the mighty olive, the tree of life in Palestinian agriculture. In addition, Oliva was the name of the civil protection boat that Italian activist-journalist Vittorio Arrigoni sailed in solidarity with Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza before he was murdered in 2011. We also honour Mother’s Day’s origins in the 1800’s with women speaking out against war. We intend to carry this spirit forward with our mission. We have been deeply encouraged by the interest in this important project, which will not only highlight the role of women in the struggle, but will also bring attention to what is happening to each and every person living in Gaza. We are constantly encouraged by the resilient spirit of our sisters and brothers in Gaza and we will continue to bring their stories forward as we campaign to lift the brutal and illegal siege of Gaza.

We received over 160 excellent and thoughtful name suggestions, and have now made the difficult decision to select two names for the boats that will sail to Gaza. Each submission is appreciated and the Freedom Flotilla Coalition looks forward to ongoing support as we prepare to sail in mid September.

Amal-Hope and Zaytouna-Oliva will sail with the purpose and determination behind these women’s names.

For more information please contact spokesperson Wendy Goldsmith at: wendygoldsmith21@gmail.com or  (+1) 519 281 3978.


You can support the Women's Boat to Gaza by donating online:  https://canadaboatgaza.org/donate/

Those who can benefit from a U.S. tax receipt can contribute online at


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

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


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


In Solidarity

the Canadian Boat to Gaza team