Support for Gaza exports: Product payments & ongoing solidarity
As the dust settles in Gaza after the latest Israeli massacre of Palestinian civilians, we at Gaza’s Ark have been renewing our contacts with our Palestinian partners and producers.
Firstly we are inquiring about them, their families and any losses/damages to their businesses that may have been sustained in the latest Israeli aggression. Please read this report from Awni Farhat, the Product Coordinator for Gaza’s Ark, about the impact of Israeli attacks on two of them, the Palestine Association for Development and Heritage Protection and El Sawaf carpets: http://www.gazaark.org/2014/
Mahmoud El Sawaf, Palestinian carpet maker in Gaza: with his machine loom, before the most recent aggression (L), and in front of his destroyed store-room in Shujaiya neighbourhood, Gaza City (R) since the attacks. You can see and hear his statement here — powerful images, whether or not you understand his words in Arabic. Photos and video courtesy of Awni Farhat.
Secondly, to our producers we are expressing our continued support of their freedom of movement to export their produce to global markets.
Thirdly, following the targeting and destruction of Gaza’s Ark [http://www.gazaark.org/2014/
All of the payments for products which have been made via our campaign will be paid to producers, whether or not those goods are still available for export or even if they were destroyed in the latest Israeli aggression. We began making these payments in April before the recent hostilities [http://www.gazaark.org/2014/
As the above tasks are being completed we will also contact our generous customers/supporters to let them know whether their goods survived the latest Israeli aggression and discuss what they would like to see happen with their goods. Some foodstuffs may be donated to displaced Palestinian families in Gaza, while some of the non-perishable goods may be kept in storage till we develop new plans to export them.
We are suspending new orders of goods for the time being, until we can complete these consultations about the next steps in our campaign to challenge the blockade through trade not aid. We are, however, proud to announce that there have been 32 orders placed from Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Italy, U.S., France and the U.K. totaling $24,127. Individuals, community groups, unions, religious congregations and fair-trade businesses played different roles in different places, purchasing foodstuffs and crafts, all with one common goal: an end to the blockade and the collective punishment of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip. We remain determined to continue that vision with you.
Thank you for your patience at this time.
Gaza’s Ark Steering Committee
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