Tag Archives: Gaza

Legal victory against Israeli seizure of Tahrir. Ambulances on their way to Gaza.

Finally, after 10 years, the Israeli government has settled our compensation claim for its seizure of our boat and its cargo.

On November 4, 2011, the Tahrir, funded by grassroots donations from Canada, Australia, Belgium and Denmark, along with its cargo of some $30,000 in medical aid, was stolen by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and never delivered to our civil society partners in Gaza. A dozen people on board, including journalists, were imprisoned in Israel and eventually deported.

In January 2012, the Canadian Boat to Gaza filed a legal claim against the Israeli military. Through diligent research, our amazing Israeli legal team established an irrefutable basis for our claim. As a result, we have received a net settlement of $185,647 CDN, about half of the Tahrir’s total costs. Although we have accepted this out-of-court settlement, it does not represent full justice for our losses, much less for those of Palestinians.Many more Palestinian boats from Gaza have been stolen and damaged by the IOF: their owners face far greater legal obstacles than we do in pursuing claims and obtaining justice.

“This settlement is a victory for us and for the entire Freedom Flotilla movement, as well as for all organizations and individuals who contributed time and money to ending the blockade of Gaza.” said Canadian-Israeli Sandra Ruch, who was the registered owner of the Tahrir on behalf of our campaign, outside the Israeli consulte in Toronto today (video). “Of course, the funds from this settlement will be dedicated to the ongoing actions to help achieve full freedom of movement for all Palestinians.”

While we are not seeking donations for our campaign at this time, we ask you to support our sister campaigns in the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, as well as our partners in Gaza, including We Are Not Numbers. Our other partner in Gaza, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (also representing Palestinian fishers), urgently needs solidarity now: please consider signing and sending this letter supporting them and other Palestinian civil society organizations targeted by the Israeli occupation.

We are using a portion of this settlement towards purchasing much-needed new ambulances for Gaza. These new ambulances, which our Freedom Flotilla partners helped fund, are now en route towardsPalestine: when they arrive we will let you know.

UPDATE: The convoy of ambulances arrived in Gaza on November 8: here are some details about the arrival, including a ‘Peace Train’ video, from our friends at Kia Ora Gaza.

Thank you once again for your continued support. Together we will keep physically challenging and eventually help break the illegal blockade!

Victoire juridique contre la saisie israélienne du Tahrir. Les ambulances partent pour Gaza.

Enfin, après 10 ans, le gouvernement israélien a réglé notre demande de dédommagement pour sa saisie de notre bateau et de sa cargaison. 

Le 4 novembre 2011, le Tahrir, financé par des dons populaires du Canada, de l’Australie, de la Belgique et du Danemark, ainsi que sa cargaison d’environ 30 000 $ d’aide médicale, ont été volés par les forces d’occupation israéliennes et n’ont jamais été livrés à nos partenaires de la société civile à Gaza. Une douzaine de personnes à bord, dont des journalistes, ont été emprisonnées en Israël et finalement déportées. 

En janvier 2012, le Bateau canadien pour Gaza a déposé une plainte contre l’armée israélienne. Grâce à des recherches diligentes, notre incroyable équipe juridique israélienne a établi une base incontestable pour notre demande. En conséquence, nous avons reçu un règlement net de 185 647 dollars canadiens, soit environ la moitié des coûts totaux du Tahrir. Bien que nous ayons accepté ce règlement hors tribunaux, il ne représente pas une justice complète pour nos pertes, et encore moins pour celles des Palestiniens.ne.s. De nombreux autres bateaux palestiniens de Gaza ont été volés et endommagés par la marine de l’occupation israélienne: leurs propriétaires rencontrent des obstacles juridiques bien plus importants que les nôtres pour faire valoir leurs droits et obtenir justice. 

“Ce règlement est une victoire pour nous et pour l’ensemble du mouvement de la Flottille de la liberté, ainsi que pour toutes les organisations et personnes qui ont contribué en temps et en argent à la levée du blocus de Gaza”, a déclaré la Canadienne-Israélienne Sandra Ruch, qui était la propriétaire immatriculée du Tahrir au nom de notre campagne, devant le consulat israélien à Toronto aujourd’hui (vidéo). “Bien sûr, les fonds de ce règlement seront consacrés aux actions en cours pour aider à atteindre la pleine liberté de mouvement pour le peuple palestinien.” 

Si nous ne sollicitons pas de dons pour notre campagne à l’heure actuelle, nous vous demandons de soutenir nos campagnes sœurs de la coalition de la Flottille de la liberté, ainsi que nos partenaires à Gaza, notamment We Are Not Numbers. Notre autre partenaire à Gaza, l’Union des comités de travail agricole, a un besoin urgent de solidarité maintenant : veuillez signer et envoyer cette lettre pour les soutenir, ainsi que d’autres organisations de la société civile palestinienne ciblées par l’occupation israélienne. 

Nous utilisons une partie de ce règlement pour acheter de nouvelles ambulances dont Gaza a tant besoin. Ces nouvelles ambulances, que nos partenaires de la Flottille de la liberté ont contribué à financer, sont maintenant en route vers la Palestine : nous vous informerons de leur arrivée. 

Merci encore pour votre soutien continu. Ensemble, nous continuerons à défier physiquement le blocus que nous finirons par aider à briser  ! 

Freedom Flotilla 2020: For the Children of Gaza

After joining other civil society organizations in The Hague on Friday November 29 calling on the International Criminal Court to take action and prosecute Israeli crimes against Palestinians, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition met in Rotterdam this weekend to plan our May 2020 sailing towards Gaza with these important goals:

  • To challenge and end the illegal and inhuman Israeli blockade of Gaza
  • To restore the rights of children and youth in Gaza, for life, security and freedom of movement.

For more than five years the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has been warning the world that Gaza will become uninhabitable by 2020 if the blockade does not end. Basic human rights of Palestinians in Gaza are violated daily by the Israeli-imposed blockade, including the right to adequate housing, the right to education, the right to healthcare, the right to clean water and food, and in particular the right to freedom of movement.

Civil society organizations from around the world have combined to challenge the blockade since 2008, when Free Gaza boats managed to arrive in Gaza and leave again peacefully. In all, more than 35 boats have sailed to challenge the blockade. May 2020 will mark 10 years since the attack by Israeli forces on boats including the Mavi Marmara, where they killed 10 people and seriously wounded 56 others. Since 2010 we have sailed as the Freedom Flotilla Coalition: international civil society organizations united for human rights and dedicated to challenging the blockade of Gaza through nonviolent direct action. 

“The children of Gaza deserve the same rights as children in every other country of the world,” comments Ann Wright of the US Boat to Gaza. “They are more than a million, more than half of the population of Gaza, and they are being deprived of the right to a just future because of the illegal blockade and ongoing military attacks on occupied Gaza by Israel, with the complicity of our governments.”

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition calls on people of conscience from around the world to support our May 2020 mission for the children of Gaza.

December 1, 2019. Rotterdam.

For further background information, see: jfp.freedomflotilla.org
For media comment, contact our campaign spokespeople:
To donate in support of our work, see the different pages from our international campaigns here.

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


(Note: like many of our sister organizations, we would prefer to move away from 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 electronic payment methods soon. Please e-mail us if you have questions about this)

Whether you 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 share our posts widely.

Twitter: @CanadaBoatGaza @GazaFFlotilla


Together, we can help end the blockade!

en francais

*Après s'être jointe à d'autres organisations de la société civile à la Haye vendredi 29 novembre pour demander à la Cour Pénale internationale d'agir et de poursuivre les Israéliens pour les crimes contre les Palestiniens, la Coalition de la Flottille de la Liberté s'est réunie à Rotterdam pendant la fin de semaine du 30 novembre et 1er décembre afin de mettre au point notre voyage vers Gaza en mai 2020. Ses objectifs importants sont :

  • Défier le blocus illégal et inhumain de la bande de Gaza et y mettre un terme;
  • Restaurer les droits des enfants et de la jeunesse de Gaza, droits à la vie, à la sécurité et à la liberté de mouvement.

Cela fait plus de cinq ans que la Conférence des Nations unies sur le Commerce et le Développement (UNCTAD) met le monde en garde sur le fait que Gaza deviendra invivable en 2020 s'il n'est pas mis fin au blocus. Les droits humains élémentaires des Palestiniens et Palestiniennes de Gaza sont violés quotidiennement par ce blocus imposé par Israël, et parmi eux le droit à un logement approprié, le droit à l'éducation, à la santé, à de l'eau propre et de la nourriture, et tout particulièrement à la liberté de mouvement.

Des organisations de la société civile du monde entier se sont regroupées pour défier ce blocus depuis 2008, quand les bateaux de Free Gaza ont réussi à atteindre Gaza et puis en repartir en paix.

En tout, 35 bateaux au moins ont pris la mer depuis pour défier le blocus. Depuis 2010 nous naviguons sous la bannière de la Coalition de la Flottille de la Liberté, des organisations de la société civile unies dans la défense des droits humains et dédiées à défier le blocus, par de l'action directe non violente.

MAI 2020 MARQUERA LES 10 ANS DEPUIS L'ATTAQUE PAR LA MARINE ISRAELIENNE DE NOS BATEAUX y compris le MAVI MARMARA, sur lequel les soldats ont tué 10 personnes et en ont blessé gravement 56 autres.

“Les enfants de Gaza doivent avoir les mêmes droits que tous les autres enfants dans tous les pays du  monde,” déclare Ann Wright de la campagne US Boat to Gaza (Un bateau pour Gaza-USA). “Ils sont plus d'un million, plus de la moitié de la population de Gaza, et ils sont privés du droit à un avenir juste à cause de  ce blocus illégal et des attaques militaires récurrentes qu'Israël mène contre Gaza avec la complicité de nos gouvernements.”

La Coalition de la Flottille de la Liberté appelle tous les gens de conscience partout dans le monde à soutenir notre mission de mai 2020 pour les enfants de Gaza. 

Rotterdam, 1er décembre 2019

Pour plus d'information : http://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/

Pour les médias, contactez les porte-paroles de nos campagnes.

Pour faire un don, voir les différentes pages de nos campagnes internationales ici.

#EnfantsDeGaza #FlottilleDeLaLiberté #FinBlocusGaza
#GazaKids #FreedomFlotilla #EndGazaBlockade

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


(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 électoniques. Veuillez nous contacter par courriel si vous avez des questions à cet égard).  


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 d'autres personnes à le faire aussi; et
  • suivez-nous en web, sur Facebook, Twitter (voir ci-après), et partager nos billets largement.
  • Twitter: @CanadaBoatGaza @GazaFFlotilla




Ensemble, nous pouvons aider à rompre le blocus! 

[Gaza] situation continues to deteriorate: in 2020, we sail for the children of Gaza

Dear Supporters, 


For more than a decade, Israel and Egypt have blockaded the Gaza Strip, by land, air and sea. For most of that decade, the Canada Boat to Gaza has been sailing with the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, in solidarity with Palestine to break the illegal blockade of Gaza. Nothing is getting better there. During Gaza’s Great March of Return, Israeli  forces have killed at least 267 people and maimed 30 000 other. Gaza will very soon be uninhabitable. Innocent women, children and men will soon have even less access to clean drinking water, food and other essentials of life. Our Canadian government remains complicit in this crime.


Canada Boat to Gaza has been busy since our last sailing in 2018. This summer we partnered with the US Boat to Gaza to hold local flotilla actions to raise awareness about the dire situation in Gaza. CBG held two events in London, Ont, and we increased awareness across the country. Our partners in the US held actions in St. Louis, Madison, Chicago, San Francisco, Avalon – Catalina Island, Spokane, Mary’s River, Quilcene Bay, Bellingham, Lyme and more. See it all here. The Canadian captain of the 2018 Flotilla vessel Freedom, John Turnbull, participated in the recent Bellingham event : 


The situation in Gaza is unimaginable to most Canadians. Lack of clean drinking water is an issue in some communities here at home. In Gaza, it affects almost two million people. The effects of trauma on this population, including those who have been peacefully protesting during the Great March of Return, are immeasurable. This year, as we plan for our 2020 Flotilla, we are focussing on children and youth in Gaza. We will be reaching out to individuals and organizations who can help us raise awareness about this human-made humanitarian crisis and our responsibility for it. And, as always, we will be holding our government accountable for their complicity in Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.


Our work is not finished and we all need to continue until Palestine is free. We need your help. Please consider volunteering with us as we prepare for our actions in 2020. We need help event planning, fundraising and more. Contact us today at canadaboatgaza@gmail.com

A critical way to help this campaign is to contribute financially. There are different ways you can make a donation. Click here to donate. We ask you to consider a monthly donation. We are pleased to accept e-transfers from Canadian bank accounts (Interac) or online using a major credit card or PayPal account. You can also donate by cheque or money order and mailing to Canadian Boat to Gaza, PO Box 1950, London Stn. B, London, Ontario N6A 5J4, CANADA

Please help us spread the word about our campaigns:

– 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 share our posts widely.

Twitter: @GazaFFlotilla

You can support Canadian Boat to Gaza by donating via e-transfer (Interac, from Canada accounts only), mailing cheques or money orders, or online, see : https://canadaboatgaza.org/donate/.

 In other parts of the world, please consider donating through one of our other partner campaigns in the Freedom Flotilla:  https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/donate

Together, we can help end the blockade!



Palestinian doctor from St. John’s joins Freedom Flotilla Coalition to Gaza

'People everywhere have the right to live in dignity and … without fear of being shot'

Dr. Majed Khraishi has lived in Newfoundland for 30 years, but still has family in Jordan and the West Bank.(NLMA/Facebook)

The family connections of a St. John's doctor — and a desire to inspire change  — have motivated him to join a team sailing to the Gaza Strip.

"The most important thing is really to raise awareness of the horrible situation and the siege of Gaza, this has been going on for many years," says Dr. Majed Khraishi, a rheumatologist and a clinical professor in the medical school at Memorial University of Newfoundland. 

"There are two million people who are living in a space not much larger than the size of greater St. John's in some unbelievable conditions," Khraishi said.

He has been living in Newfoundland for 30 years, but still has family in Jordan and the West Bank.

LISTEN: St John's Morning Show: Feedom Flotilla Coalition

A Newfoundland doctor is part of a team sailing to the Gaza Strip. Dr. Majed Khraishi drops by the studio to talk about his personal connection to Palestine… and the dangers that come with the journey. 7:59

Khraishi, who is Palestinian, will serve as an onboard doctor with the Freedom Flotilla Coaltion (FFC), an international organization that aims to challenge the Isreali blockade of Gaza.

He said he has two reasons for joining the fleet of boats.

"Bring some supplies, some humanitarian supplies. But more importantly to raise awareness of our governments — of people around the world — that there is something inhumane going on here," he said.

'Is that all we can do?'

Israel and Egypt argue that they must maintain the blockade of Gaza to contain Hamas and other militant groups, which have built up arsenals over the years, including short-range rockets.

Hardships linked to the blockade, including daily power cuts and rising poverty, have driven turnout at protests.

Khraishi says for him, it's a humanitarian issue first, not a political one. 

"The fact that people everywhere have the right to live in dignity and … without fear of being shot, or not even having their children taken care of," he said.

"It makes you feel like you have to do something … I thought the least I can do is be part of this flotilla, part of this mission and make my voice heard and do something about it."

Al Awda (The Return) in Bergen, Norway

Al Awda (The Return) in Bergen, Norway. This is the boat Khraishi will travel on, serving as the onboard doctor. 

The FFC fleet of four boats will stop in ports throughout Europe, running public outreach and awareness campaigns.

Khraishi is meeting the group in Lisbon Wednesday, and will sail for about a week on one of the boats, although he expects to disembark before the final leg as the group tries to reach Gaza in mid-July.

"What I really feel is some sense of fulfilment, some sense of apprehension and sometimes [I wonder] is that all that we can do?" 

"I did a very small part eventually that will help others to do bigger parts and eventually maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel."

Orignally published by CBC News, Newfoundland and Labrador

Noam Chomsky supports Freedom Flotilla 2018 sailing for the Right to a Just Future for Palestine

"The suffering of Gaza is a testament to the human capacity for sadism and pretending “not to see”: sadism on the part of the savage Israeli occupiers, who have never relaxed their iron grip on Gaza for a moment and are now assisted by the brutal Egyptian dictatorship; pretending not to see, on the part of all of those who can act effectively to end these crimes but choose to close their eyes or even worse, to provide crucial support to the torturers. Those who choose to see can quickly discover that the millions of Palestinians caged in the Gaza prison, barred from access to the outside world by their oppressors, are living under carefully managed conditions so dire that Gaza may become uninhabitable within a few years. The pretexts for the cruelty collapse quickly on examination, and have been exposed as fraudulent over and over. But the sadistic punishment persists.
Fortunately, there are some who not only choose to see, but also to act to offer a measure of hope to the Palestinians of Gaza. They also provide a demonstration that courage, integrity, and concern for the plight of those suffering from cruel oppression have not vanished from the earth. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is a stellar illustration, and deserves full support in once again carrying forward its remarkable initiatives, now in new and impressive ways as it offers international solidarity and hope to the Palestinian people in Gaza in their daily struggle."
Noam Chomsky

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition has started our 75 day voyage towards Gaza, with a big farewell party on April 30 in Bergen for the converted Norwegian fishing boat Al Awda (The Return), see photos & video hereBut we cannot get there without your help: our campaign needs your support in order to pay our share of the boat that the Freedom Flotilla is sailing against the blockade of Gaza and 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

(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 electronic payment methods soon. Please e-mail us if you have questions about this). 
Some supporteres (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 you 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


Together, we can help end the blockade!

Noam Chomsky in the port of Gaza, October 2012.




Trop d’années d’occupation et de blocus: Déclaration de la Flottille de la Liberté

Israël s’attaque aux pêcheurs palestiniens pendant qu’il est en train de piller le gaz naturelle sous les eaux de Gaza

Selon l’OCHA ( United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ), entre le premier janvier et le 15 mai 2017, les forces d’occupation israéliennes  (IOF) ont ouvert le feu 133 fois contre les pêcheurs de Gaza. Le 15 mai, la marine israélienne a tiré sur deux bateaux de pêche à environ 3 miles nautiques du rivage de Gaza, au nord de Gaza-ville. Ils ont tué un pêcheur âgé de 25 ans, Mohammed Majed Bakr, dont la femme se retrouve veuve avec deux petits enfants, de 3 et un an.

En contravention avec le droit international, Israël a décrété que les pêcheurs de Gaza peuvent pêcher uniquement dans une zone proche du rivage. À la fin de l’attaque massive contre la population de Gaza en 2014, Israël a promis d’élargir la zone où les Palestiniens sont autorisés à pêcher. Une fois que l’attention médiatique internationale s’est attenuée, Israël est revenu sur sa parole. Et même dans cette zone “autorisée”, la marine de guerre israélienne terrorise fréquemment les pêcheurs palestiniens, détruisant ou volant leurs bateaux, détruisant leurs filets et confisquant leur pêche.

Ces petits bateaux de pêche palestiniens ne représentent aucun danger pour la sécurité d’Israël, mais ils pourraient bien entraver les efforts israéliens pour piller les ressources des champs gaziers proches des zones de pêche traditionnelles, à environ sept ou dix miles nautiques du rivage.

La destruction par Israël de la pêche palestinienne et le vol des ressources sous-marines sont l’une des conséquences désastreuses de l’occupation continue de Gaza, dont les médias internationaux ne disent pratiquement rien.

Cela fait 50 ans qu’Israël occupe Gaza, la Cisjordanie, Jérusalem-Est et les Hauteurs du Golan. Cela fait 10 ans que dure le blocus renforcé de Gaza.

Ces “anniversaires” sont un réquisitoire contre les gouvernements et les  diverses autorités internationales qui ne font aucune pression sur Israël pour qu’il mette fin à l’occupation et à l’oppression du peuple palestinien. Quand les gouvernements faillissent, ce sont les peuples du monde qui doivent agir.

La Coalition de la Flottille de la Liberté (FFC), composée de campagnes du monde entier, continuera à concentrer son action constamment sur l’opposition active au blocus illégal et à l’occupation de Gaza, afin de les briser, et à exiger des gouvernements du monde qu’ils agissent.

La société civile palestinienne a souvent appellé la communauté internationale à prendre des mesures qui entraineront l’isolement d’Israël tant qu’il ne se conformera pas au droit international et aux droits de l’Homme. En réponse à cet appel, la Coalition( FFC) apporte son soutien à toutes les formes de lutte non-violente adoptées par le peuple palestinien contre l’oppression et l’injustice.

Avec des organisations qui représentent les pêcheurs de Gaza, nous avons lancé la campagne “Solidarité avec les pêcheurs de  Gaza” .

Nous vous appelons à vous joindre à nous pour mettre en évidence la terreur qu’ Israël inflige aux pêcheurs de Gaza, afin  de contraindre le gouvernement israélien à y mettre un terme et d’amener nos gouvernements respectifs à ne plus la soutenir.



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.

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.