All posts by FFC1

Too many years of occupation and blockade: Freedom Flotilla statement

Israel attacks Palestinian fishers while pillaging gas under Palestinian waters off Gaza

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between 1 January and 15 May 2017, the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) opened fire on Gaza fishers 133 times. On 15 May, the IOF Navy shot at two fishing boats about three nautical miles from the Gaza shore, northwest of Gaza City, killing a 25 year old fisherman, Mohammed Majed Bakr, whose wife is now a widow with two small children, aged one and three. In violation of International Law, Israel has declared that Gaza fishers can only fish in a zone close to the Gaza shore. When the massive attack on the population of Gaza ended in 2014, Israel promised to increase the size of zone where Palestinians could fish. Once the international media attention had faded, Israel went back on its word. Even within that area the IOF navy routinely terrorises Palestinian fishers, destroying or stealing fishing boats, destroying their nets and confiscating their catch.

These small Palestinian fishing boats are no threat to Israel’s security, but they could impede Israeli efforts to pillage Palestinian gas fields near traditional fishing areas that are approximately seven to ten nautical miles off shore. The Israeli destruction of the Palestinian fishery and theft of undersea resources is one of the many disastrous effects of the on-going Israeli occupation of Gaza, about which international media are largely silent.

The Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights has lasted 50 years. The intensified Israeli blockade of Gaza has lasted for 10 years. These ‘anniversaries’ are an indictment on governments and international authorities that do not put any effective pressure on Israel to end the occupation and the oppression of the Palestinian people. When governments fail, people around the world must take action.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC), composed of campaigns from around the world, will continually focus its work on actively challenging the illegal blockade and occupation of Gaza, and on demanding that governments worldwide take action. Palestinian civil society has repeatedly called upon the international community to take steps that will result in Israel’s isolation until it shows respect for international law and human rights. In response, the FFC supports various forms of non-violent struggle adopted by the Palestinian people against oppression and injustice.

Along with organizations representing Palestinian fishers in Gaza, we have started the ‘Solidarity with Gaza Fishers’ campaign. We call on you to join us in casting spotlights on Israeli terror against the fishers of Gaza, in order to pressure the Israeli government to end it and on our respective governments to cease supporting it.


Don’t Shoot, We’re Fishing!


An edited short version of a 2012 video (Doors to the Sea) produced by our partners at the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Gaza (who represent Palestinian fishers), this short video shows the experience of Gaza's fishers under blockade, confronted by Israeli warships, sharp restrictions on their areas for fishing, and the political, military and economic blockade of Gaza.

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.

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 /
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:

* 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

*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 / 

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:

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.




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:

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:

Other ways to get involved:
Follow us at and and
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla  @CanadaBoatGaza

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

In Solidarity 
the Canadian Boat to Gaza team


Launching Women’s Boat to Gaza campaign (+ français, العربية)‎

[*Le texte français suit le texte anglais**البيان بالعربية في الاسفل*]
  WBG logo

Messina, Sicily, Italy
March 8, 2016: For Immediate Release

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition* (FFC) has chosen March 8th, which marks International Women's Day (IWD), to announce the launch of their Women's Boat to Gaza (WBG) project.

The Women's Boat to Gaza will set sail mid-September of this year and plans to dock at a number of Mediterranean ports along its route and arrive Gaza on October the 1st.

The FFC's fourth mission (FF4) will be sailed by an all women crew and will carry aboard, notable women from all over the world in order to highlight the undeniable contributions which have been made by Palestinian women to the resistance movement. Palestinian women have been central to the struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora. 

"One of our goals is to highlight this struggle and the devastating effects it has had on women, often left alone, sifting through rubble to take care of their families when their husbands are imprisoned or murdered" said Wendy Goldsmith, of the Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign. "On International Women's Day, and on every day, we stand with these brave and resilient women, and will send the Women's Boat to Gaza to let them know they are not alone and to end the illegal blockade of Gaza."


WBG is endorsed by renowned women's organizations from all over the world, among them: The Women's Affairs Center (Gaza), The Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel), Forum de Politica Feminista (Spain), Women's Front (Norway), Coordinadora de Solidaridad Palestina (Mexico), CODEPINK Women for Peace (US) and the Fédération des femmes du Québec (Canada).

The FFC is also pleased to announce the launch of the WBG website.  Please visit: for more details and to follow the progress of WBG / FF4.

For more information:
Laura Arau  +34 (6) 36 00 36 01
Wendy Goldsmith +1 (519) 281-3978

* Freedom Flotilla Coalition campaigns participating in the WBG are:
Canadian Boat to Gaza
Freedom Flotilla Italy
International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza
IHH – Turkey
Palestine Solidarity Alliance-South Africa
Rumbo a Gaza-Spain
Ship to Gaza Norway
Ship to Gaza Sweden

* other WBG international partners:
Kia Ora Gaza – New Zealand
Miles of Smiles
US Boat to Gaza


Le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza lèvera l’ancre en septembre 2016
Les femmes québécoises et palestiniennes demandent la fin du blocus et l’occupation

Montréal, le 7 mars 2016 – Des organisations québécoises et canadiennes se joignent à une coalition internationale pour mettre en œuvre le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza, dans l’objectif de mettre fin au blocus de la Bande de Gaza. Par l’organisation d’événements et fort.e.s du soutien de femmes, d’hommes, d’ONG, de groupes de la société civile et d’associations de femmes à travers le monde, le Bateau lèvera l’ancre en septembre 2016.

Le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza, ce sont des femmes du monde entier qui tiennent à rendre visible l’esprit de résistance indomptable des femmes palestiniennes, à leur manifester leur solidarité, à leur faire parvenir un message d’espoir jusque derrière les murs de leur prison à Gaza.

Le blocus doit être levé, mais même levé, Gaza continuera d’être un territoire occupé par Israël. En solidarité avec l’ensemble du peuple palestinien, il nous faut continuer la lutte pour  que les Palestiniennes et les Palestiniens, où qu’ils soient, recouvrent la totalité de leurs droits. Les groupes québécois exigent donc la fin de l’occupation, de la colonisation, le démantèlement du mur, le respect du droit de retour des réfugié.e.s (résolution 194 de l’ONU) et la reconnaissance du droit des arabo-palestiniens d’Israël à une égalité totale. 

À Gaza, les conditions de vie sont déplorables depuis l’imposition du blocus en 2007 et cela affecte en particulier les femmes : sans liberté, sans paix et sans ressources essentielles pour assurer une vie digne, Israël contrôlant tout. L’insécurité alimentaire y est de modérée à grave. Les multiples agressions militaires y ont détruit toutes les infrastructures essentielles à une vie en société : maisons, hôpitaux et cliniques, centrales électriques, usines de filtration d’eau, écoles et universités, entreprises, commerces, etc.  

La vie des de Gaza est un enfer et un combat permanent, et pourtant, les femmes continuent de porter leur famille à bout de bras et refusent de disparaître. Ellesinspirent espoir, force et détermination devant les innombrables injustices. Agir à leurs côtés est une question de dignité pour toutes et tous. 


Contact: Mme Lorraine Guay <>  sera disponible pour répondre aux demandes d’entrevue des journalistes.


ميسينا ، إيطاليا٨ آذار ٢٠١٦ 
للنشر الفوري 
اختار تحالف اسطول الحرية تاريخ ٨ آذار ، الذي يصادف اليوم العالمي للمرأة ، للإعلان عن إطلاق مشروع 'قارب النساء الى غزة'.   
و سوف يبحر 'قارب النساء الى غزة ' منتصف شهر أيلول من هذا العام . و سوف يقوم القارب بالتوقف في عدة موانئ بحرية في البحر الأبيض المتوسط في طريقه الى غزة ، على ان يصل هناك يوم ١ من تشرين الاول . 
يقود مهمة اسطول الحرية الرابعة طاقم نسائي ، و سوف يكون على متن القارب نساء بارزات من مختلف أنحاء العالم بهدف تسليط الضوء على المساهمات المركزية للمرأة الفلسطينية في مقاومة الاحتلال ، في غزة والضفة الغربية، داخل الخط الأخضر و في الشتات.
ويحضى 'قارب النساء الى غزة ' لتأييد مجموعة من المنظمات النسائية الرائدة في مختلف أنحاء العالم ، من بينهم : مركز شؤون المرأة (غزة)، تحالف النساء للسلام (اسرائيل )، منتدى دي بوليتيكا فمينيستا (اسبانيا)، الجبهة النسائية (النرويج)، تنسيقية التضامن مع فلسطين (المكسيك)، كودبينك نساء من اجل السلام ( الولايات المتحدة الامريكية) و اتحاد الكيبيك للنساء (كندا) .
ويسرنا الإعلان عن إطلاق موقع الواب لمشروع 'قارب النساء الى غزة: 
للمزيد من المعلومات الاتصال ب: 

العربية:  دنيا حمو
+519 878 2843
Dunia Hamou
لورا آراو 
+34 (6) 36 00 36 01




:ويندي غولدسميث 
+ 519 281 3978
*يتكون تحالف اسطول الحرية من : 
– القارب الكندي الى غزة 
-اسطول الحرية إيطاليا 
-اللجنة الدولية لكسر حصار غزة
– IHH تركيا 
-تحالف التضامن مع فلسطين،  جنوب افريقيا 
-الطريق الى غزة، اسبانيا 
-السفينة الى غزة ، نرويج 
-السفينة الى غزة، السويد 
*الشركاء الدوليون الآخرون: 
– كيا اورا غزة ، نيوزيلندا 
-أميال من الابتسامات 
-قارب الولايات المتحدة الى غزة