Israel attacked Estelle one year ago

logo for mailing to listAs the building of Gaza's Ark continues, despite the difficulties caused by the Israeli blockade and made worse by the Egyptian regime's closure of most of the tunnels (sign petition:, today we commemorate one year since Israel's piracy of the peaceful aid ship, the Estelle. 

The Estelle was the latest of the Freedom Flotilla ships to challenge the illegal blockade of Gaza.  On this day we salute everyone who has worked on or supported the Estelle campaign (including former Canadian MP Jim Manly* who was on board), and assure you and the world that we will not stop our efforts till the blockade ends and all Palestinians can realize their human rights. 

Please continue to support Gaza's Ark so we can continue our work.  

Your generous financial contributions are what keep the project going:

In solidarity
Gaza's Ark Steering Committee

* To interview former Canadian MP Jim Manly who was on the Estelle and was imprisoned by Israel and then deported call +1-250-758-0966

Here is the press release issued by the Estelle campaign on the anniversary of the Israeli attack:

One year since the hijacking of Estelle

PRESS RELEASE: 2013-10-19 21:04

It has been a year since the hijacking of Ship to Gaza Sweden’s sailing ship S/V Estelle. The hijacking took place in international waters, 38 nautical miles off the coast of the Gaza strip.

Thirty people from eight countries were on board, firmly decided to non-violently challenge the illegal blockade of Gaza. Gaza, the port of Palestine, was the destination, as was the 1,7 million Palestinians who by then had lived under siege for over six years. A reception of the boat was prepared. Estelle symbolized hope for an end of isolation and politics of separation, and an end to the devastating consequences on living conditions and freedom of movement.

The Israeli military chose to once again board a civilian vessel, loaded with humanitarian cargo and symbolic gifts from the many people who welcomed and supported Estelle’s travel from Scandinavia through Europe. The boarding was a military operation, and the operation was needless to say not peaceful. According to the IDF seventy soldiers boarded the ship. Thirty people were taken as prisoners and, against their will, taken to Israel. All activists without Israeli citizenship were deported and banned from entering Israel. Israel kept S/V Estelle and the ship is now under threat of confiscation. The whereabouts of Estelle's cargo remains unknown to its rightful owners: Donors as well as recipients.

Estelle was the latest of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition ships to challenge the blockade. The blockade is now running on its seventh year, and has through the actions of the Egyptian regime lately even worsened its grip on the lives of the people in Gaza. We are perpetuating our fight for human rights and freedom for the Palestinian people.

Dror Feiler, Ann Ighe, Victoria Strand, spokespersons for Ship to Gaza Sweden
Link to picture and a list of passengers and crew on the last leg of Estelle’s journey:
Link to a movie about Estelle’s journey through Europe, made by filmmaker and activist Laura Arau:
Link for the support campaign that emerged on Facebook during the days before and after the boarding:

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