Freedom of movement NOW
In the ceasefire recently brokered by Egypt, the Israeli government promised to "open the crossings and facilitate the movement of people and the transfer of goods, and … refrain from targeting residents in border areas." The major question now is, will Israel live up to that commitment in the full letter and spirit of the words? We have a project that will put that to the test: Gaza's Ark; it aims to stock a locally built boat with locally made Palestinian goods and sail them out of the Gaza harbour for export!
Like many others, we will be closely monitoring what the ceasefire means over time for freedom of movement for Palestinians in Gaza, including the ability of fishermen to fish in their full territorial waters, farmers to access their land and businesses to export. It's important to remember that to achieve a lasting, just peace, the blockade of Gaza must end, completely and permanently, so that Palestinians can rebuild the vibrant export economy they once enjoyed. This is what Gaza's Ark hopes to help achieve.
Watch this Gazan farmer (video www.gazaark.org/2012/11/23/video-farmers-in-gaza ) who is hoping to resume exporting his produce, if the international community makes Israel stay true to its commitment. Then, please, click the "donate" button www.gazaark.org/donate to give whatever amount you can. Also please endorse Gaza's Ark, your support is very valuable to the project.
Run jointly by civil society groups in Gaza and a committee of internationals, Gaza's Ark will hire local workers to rebuild an existing boat and stock it with goods ideal for export — including dates, clothing and furniture, products that once fuelled an independent, self-sufficient economy. (You can find a lot more detail at www.gazaark.org ).
Through Gaza's Ark, we also will help create some much-needed employment for Palestinians in Gaza; stimulate the local economy by paying manufacturers, farmers and craftspeople for products that are now sitting unsold in warehouses; and bring media attention to Israel's continuing ban on exports.
However, we need your help to make this happen. Our previous appeal was well received, and we thank those who responded with a donation! We know there are many worthy humanitarian appeals to help Palestinians in Gaza at this time, but if we want to help build a lasting, just peace we need to keep building momentum towards ending the blockade. Please share this email with your networks and ask them to support Gaza's Ark!
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