FAQ about attack on Gaza’s Ark

Has the attack on Gaza’s Ark changed your work or mission?

Absolutely not. We are even more determined now to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza; it violates international law, and is completely inhumane.

Any idea about whether it was a deliberate attack?

It is well known who enforces the blockade on Gaza and who doesn’t want it challenged. We have eye witness evidence that we have submitted to the ‘United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict’.

Why do you think that Gaza’s Ark has been attacked?

Gaza's Ark represents a challenge to the Israeli blockade of Gaza and shows that Palestinians can benefit from trading and freedom of movement. Similar challenges have often faced opposition, at times violent. If past experience is any indication, there have been similar attacks before on boats trying to break the blockade. After the first five successful attempts beginning in December 2008, there have been numerous acts of sabotage and other attacks: on the Free Gaza’s Dignity, the Challenger I and II, the Rachel Corrie, the Juliano, the MV Saoirse and the MV Estelle.

Why do you think this attack happened in July 2014?

The attack on the boat must be seen within the context of the massacre of more than 1,500 civilians during July 2014. The loss of the boat is minimal compared to the losses experienced by the peoples of Gaza to their families, their homes and their lives. However it is telling that two particular things were targeted in the port of Gaza: one a memorial to the ten international solidarity activists murdered by Israeli soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara and Gaza’s Ark.

When the attack happened we were planning a test run of the boat after it had been repaired after an earlier underwater attack.

Was the boat insured?

The boat was insured against theft or fire. No insurance company would accept to insure it for sailing accidents, war, attacks or natural disasters.

Was anyone hurt on board the boat?

No, we made a decision to stand down our security staff once the bombardment of Gaza started.
Prior to this decision, we had done what we could to increase security and the number of people watching Gaza’s Ark. However, the reality is that a boat like this and a project like ours could ultimately only rely on the political security that comes from the eyes of people all over the world watching, caring for the project, and making it known that we want our governments to demand safe passage for Gaza’s Ark and for Palestinian navigation more generally.

What is your next step? When do you envisage the voyage will actually now take place?

In response to this attack, we will increase our efforts to challenge the blockade through non-violent direct action. Working with our partners in the Freedom Flotilla Coalition we will export Palestinian produce. We remain determined in our goal as an international civil society movement with supporters across the world.

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