Category Archives: Uncategorized
This website is not currently being updated due to the destruction of Gaza’s Ark by the Israeli military in July 2014. We are however maintaining this website as a resource with many stories and links from this international solidarity project with the Palestinians of Gaza.
Information about the latest projects of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition available here . They can destroy a boat but never hope!
CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt will reopen its Rafah border crossing with the Gaza strip Monday and Tuesday to allow humanitarian cases to cross.
The decision by Egyptian authorities marks the fourth time the border will be opened since it was closed after a suicide bombing in the Sinai Peninsula in October killed 30 soldiers, security officials said.
Director of the Gaza crossings Maher Abu Sabha told Ma'an that the Egyptian authorities will open the crossing from both sides.
Palestinians who travel through Rafah are mostly students heading to universities in Egypt or beyond, and those seeking medical treatment.
October's attack also led to a state of emergency and curfew being imposed in some parts of North Sinai where security forces are battling an Islamist insurgency.
The army has also created a wide buffer zone along the border with Gaza aimed at preventing infiltration by militants.
Despite these measures, on Jan. 29 another 30 people were killed when rockets and a car bomb targeted a military base and other security posts in North Sinai.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a militant movement affiliated to the Islamic State group that has seized territory in Syria and Iraq, has claimed most of the attacks in North Sinai, including those in October and January.
It says its attacks are retaliation for a brutal government crackdown on supporters of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the army in July 2013.
The military has said that in February 172 militants were killed in joint police and army operations in the peninsula.
An Islamic Jihad delegation and Egyptian authorities met in Cairo on March 1 to address the need for Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, a need that has taken particular urgency due to the detrimental impact of movement restrictions on the reconstruction of the war-torn areas of the strip.
Sources said that Egyptian authorities agreed in principle to opening the crossing on regular basis soon, before opening it completely in the long run when Sinai calms.
Opening the crossing will be contingent on the role of the unity government in its operation, and reliant on a commitment by Hamas to stop interfering in internal Egyptian issues, sources added.
Hamas has agreed to let the presidential guards to take charge, as part of a comprehensive plan to merge employees from West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Rafah crossing into Egypt has been the principal connection between Gaza's 1.8 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an Israeli blockage on the strip since 2007.
Full article available through Ma'an News Agency at: http://www.maannews.com/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=759785
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/
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/
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.
Gaza's Ark Steering Committee
October 22, 2012
Mr. Paul Dewar,
NDP Foreign Policy Critic
Dear Mr. Dewar
I read with disgust your comments in the Globe and Mail (Monday, October 22, 2012) regarding the NDPś position on the abduction, in international waters, of Mr. Jim Manley, a former NDP MP, and thirty others from the humanitarian ship Estelle.
The NDP ¨has urged both sides to show restraint¨. Apparently one side, Israel, has not shown restraint but continues a rogue policy of ignoring international law and UN resolutions. Abducting international human rights advocates while still in international waters, subjecting many to tasers and beatings and holding them in Israeli prisons is not showing restraint.
Jim Manly’s son thanks supporters and asks to contact the PM and local MPs
Many thanks to all of you who have sent best wishes, letters of support and letters to politicians in support of my father Jim Manly.
My dad, a 79 year old (he turns 80 on Oct 29th) retired United Church Minister and former NDP Member of Parliament, was taking part in a humanitarian aid mission to Gaza with the Gaza Ark flotilla aboard the Estelle. The ship was boarded and seized in international waters by Israeli Defence Forces and the passengers and crew were taken to Israel where they are now in detention. I have heard that Canadian consular officials have seen my father and reported that he is in good health and is receiving his daily medication but that he is very tired.
Dear Jim Manley,
I have just read your message from the boat as you sail with all your brave companions towards Gaza.
Please extend to all these brave people our best wishes for their safety as they carry their love and our love and solidarity to the people of Gaza.
We pray for you all – you are in our thoughts and thank you for your actions of solidarity with the people of Gaza.
mairead maguire – nobel peace laureate – ireland and the peace people
be not afraid – be brave….
15 October 2012, 11AM PDT
Greetings to all of you and thank you for your many messages of encouragement and support. These mean a great deal to all of us on the Estelle as we sail toward Gaza.
I appreciate the dedication and commitment of all on board this boat. All of us are committed to non-violence and we are on this journey because of our commitment to the Palestinians of Gaza who are suffering because of this illegal blockade.
The whole history of the Flotilla Movement is a story of perseverance in our commitment to justice for Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere. The focus should not be on us – the focus should be on the people of Gaza who await our safe arrival. They are also waiting for the world to listen – to hear their side of the story, which is missing from the mainstream media. Please read and download the recent UN Gaza Report from here.
Former Canadian MP (Member of Parliament 1980-88) and retired United Church Minister Jim Manly, as he gets ready to board the Estelle in Naples. The Estelle is attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza and bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinians of Gaza.
David Heap, member of the Steering Committee of the international initiative Gaza’s Ark, introduces Jim Manly who brings an anchor as the first contribution to the rebuilding of a boat in Gaza from the people of Canada. Gaza’s Ark will attempt to break the blockade from Gaza towards the open Mediterranean.
Who sails with Estelle to Gaza to end the blockade?
Passenger 3: Nils Johan Sjøstrøm
Nils Johan Sjøstrøm, a 49-year old from Oslo, is travelling with Ship to Gaza because he wants the people in Gaza to know that they are not forgotten by the world. His desire is to be part of an emerging, global and human solidarity: “the spirit”. If states and politicians are prepared to close their eyes before immense injustices like those the Palestinians are exposed to, and to bury oppression in silence, then people from different countries will unite to protest and to break the silence. The global activism is colored by a solidarity that is stronger from people to people than between the people and the politicians who decline to act.
The work as a stunt chef is one of Nils’ many occupations. It means that he cooks for lots of people under very varying conditions, from three times sixty-five dinners to a snobbish think tank to a late supper for the group Pain Solution in Oslo. On board Estelle he has prepared food in full storm. He has worked as a journalist in the radio, in TV and in newspapers, has previously run a shop for T-shirt prints and lived in San Francisco and Nicaragua. And during all this time he has also always been working as a volunteer.