Update and Financial report from Gaza’s Ark

We would like to provide a summary of the Gaza's Ark project as it stands now and what we have achieved over the last couple of years.

As you know, our boat was destroyed by the Israeli military during the Israeli assault on Gaza in July, the second time the Ark was deliberately targeted [http://www.gazaark.org/2014/07/14/gazas-ark-deliberately-targeted-by-israel/]. By attacking Gaza’s Ark twice in less than three months, Israel obviously deemed the Ark a huge threat to its propaganda and criminal actions. Our peaceful efforts were, and will continue to be, stronger than their arsenals.

We will continue our work with our partners in the Freedom Flotilla Coalition to challenge the blockade of Gaza until it ends. We are putting Gaza's Ark on hold for now, until the situation becomes more suitable to resume it or similar work to challenge the blockade from inside Gaza.

Trade not Aid – Palestinian products:
Successful aspects of our ongoing work include the export product promotions and sales which link Palestinian producers in Gaza to solidarity purchasers around the world. Thanks to individuals and organizations in Europe, North America and Australia, we arranged over $25,000 in export contracts for Palestinian producers in Gaza. Of that amount, over $14,000 was for traditional food items, which were recently donated to needy Palestinian families in Gaza with the help of our friends at MECA [http://www.gazaark.org/2014/12/18/meca-distributes-local-food-packages/]. The remaining non-food products (e.g. traditional embroidery, textile and woodworking items) are being stored by our partners in Gaza until the conditions are right for them to once again be part of challenging the blockade from the inside. Meanwhile, we will continue to develop direct links between Gaza producers and solidarity organizations throughout the world, and we will continue to raise the issue of Palestinian export trade (not aid), in the wider context of freedom of movement for all Palestinians.

Financial Report:

Your support is what has brought Gaza's Ark this far. You contributed $341,000 (all figures in Canadian Dollars) to the project. We bought the fishing trawler which became Gaza's Ark for $87,000. Over the period between May 2013 and July 2014 we spent $131,000 modifying, upgrading and refurbishing it which went to the local economy, much of it payments to local workers.

Other expenses (including travel and administrative costs) amounted to $18,000. Professional services (legal, accounting, management and other service fees) totaled $58,000.  All Steering Committee members were volunteers none of whom received any payment for their work.

We started the project with $22,000 – mostly money remaining from the Canadian Boat to Gaza Tahrir project of 2011. Main contributions after this came from Canada, $130,000, the US, $57,000 and Australia, $24,000, while our FFC partners contributed $74,000 which included sizable donations from partner campaigns in France, Turkey, South Africa, Norway, Sweden and others.

What will remain, after covering payables and selling some remaining assets in Gaza, is estimated at $45,000 which we will put towards work on the same line we are following since we started in 2010: challenging the Israeli illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza through non violent direct action such as the FFC's Open Gaza Port (FF3) announced lately.

We will continue to count on your support.  Together we will succeed.

In solidarity;
Gaza's Ark Steering Committee
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza%27s_Ark (Gaza's Ark Wikipedia page)

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