‘Meet the Workers’ Profile – Sami Ali Al-Goga

Gaza's Ark contributes in a small way to creating new employment opportunities for workers in Gaza to refurbish, safeguard and prepare Gaza’s Ark to sail.

‘Meet the Workers’ Profile – Sami Ali Al-Goga


“I lost my left hand when my fishing boat came under attack by an Israeli gunboat on 11th of March 2007”. 

Sami Ali Al-Goga is 34 years old, a former fisherman from al-Shati refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Sami is married and has children: one boy aged 5 years and 2 girls aged 6 years and 1 year. Sami is currently employed as a guard on Gaza's Ark.

Sami's family has fished for decades; it is a “family tradition" Sami says. Sami worked as a fisherman since the age of 14, especially to try and help his aging father.

“On 11th of March 2007 at 3pm, I went fishing with my family on our boat. We were sailing in Palestinian fishing waters and enjoying our time. Suddenly, at 5am, two Israeli Navy gunboats stopped us and shouted at us to "go back or we will attack you". They started firing bullets and rocket shells at us. Three of the crewmembers were injured and rocket fragments hit my left forearm and hand. I was seriously wounded and went into a coma, awaking two days later in Al-Shifa hospital with just one hand. My life ended the same day I lost my hand by Israel” Sami said.

Sami has been unemployed since this attack and survives on assistance from UNRWA and support from his family.  “I am now with one hand. It’s hard to live and to feed my family and kids with just one hand. I don’t want my kids to get the same life I had. I'm trying to avoid my kids facing the suffering and bad times I had”.

Sami calls on international organisations to act immediately to protect the Palestinian fishermen from continued Israeli assaults and in particular to support Gaza’s Ark which is challenging Israel’s illegal actions. 

For further information on the state of the fishing industry in Gaza, please go to www.gazaark.org and click on the tag ‘Fishermen’ at the bottom of the home page to view a range of statistics, articles, videos etc.

To contribute to salaries for those working on Gaza’s Ark or to a piece of equipment required to continue the refurbishment, please go to http://www.gazaark.org/support-us/help-refurbish-gazas-ark/.

Tiny URL for this post:

This post is also available in: Greek, Hebrew