Tag Archives: Gaza

Gaza Struggles to Cope with Psychological Trauma


Working towards a lasting peace with justice in 2013

With your help in the past , now and in the coming months, Gaza's Ark will sail in 2013. Please consider a donation and encourage others to as well, and watch for an upcoming confirmation of our purchase of our boat in the port of Gaza.

Ehab Lotayef: Why we set sail to Gaza

Ehab Lotayef, Special to National Post | Oct 25, 2012 12:01 AM ET
More from Special to National Post

Former Canadian MP and retired United Church Minister Jim Manly speaks to the media at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Wednesday. (Matthew Sherwood for National Post)

Former Canadian MP and retired United Church Minister Jim Manly speaks to the media at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Wednesday. (Matthew Sherwood for National Post)

First off, the Estelle — which was seized by Israel over the weekend — sails under the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) banner, not that of the Free Gaza Movement (which your editorial impugned at some length). The FGM is not even a member of the FFC. The Canadian Boat to Gaza (CBG), of which I am a founding member, is a member of the FFC and was co-ordinating former MP Jim Manly’s brave and conscientious trip on the Estelle.

More broadly, independent expert reports have confirmed that the Palestinians in Gaza are facing a multifaceted crisis in food, water, health and economy. See, for instance, the report by five specialized UN rapporteurs posted here.

Israel makes sure that people in Gaza do not starve; this is true. But it is done in a calculated manner to keep the Palestinians in Gaza controlled and subservient. As the Estelle was crossing the Mediterranean, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the Israeli Government to release the “Red Line” report, which confirms what we’ve been saying all along: What Israel sends Gaza is far below the needs of the population, and that is done intentionally. Israel makes sure not to starve the people of Gaza, for optical reasons. But it keeps them weak and dependant, so they cannot build.

Egypt begins allowing Palestinians free entry into country

Airport officials said decision was applied for the first time when seven Palestinians waiting at Cairo International Airport were allowed into Egypt without the usual security clearances and visas.

By The Associated Press | Jul.23, 2012 | 5:36 AM 


Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh waves the Palestinian and Egyptian flags during celebrations of the victory of Mohammed Morsi. Photo by AP

Airport officials say Egypt is allowing Palestinians free entry into the country, ending part of a five-year blockade on the Gaza Strip.

The decision means Palestinians can freely leave Gaza. It also applies to Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Gaza is ruled by Hamas, a branch of new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. The blockade was imposed after Hamas took control of Gaza by force in 2007. It banned most Palestinians from leaving.

The officials said the decision was applied early Monday for the first time, when seven Palestinians waiting at Cairo International Airport were allowed into Egypt without the usual security clearances and visas. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

No formal announcement was made.

Strawberries for sale


Posted on July 19, 2012

This week we are asking Israelis to devote two minutes of their day to a worthy cause. We know that many others are also asking for two minutes for a multitude of worthy causes, but trust us, these will be two minutes well spent. Each day we are asking people to send a letter to a different individual who can play a role in allowing sale of goods from Gaza in the West Bank. Why?

Let’s start at the beginning

The fisherfolk and farmers of Gaza: Existence is resistance




JULY 19, 2012

(Photo: Wissam Nassar / Maan Images) A people-to-people solidarity delegation recently returned from Gaza to Vancouver. On Sunday, July 22, there will be a community forum reporting back on their delegation’s experiences and findings. This is the first of several eyewitness accounts from delegates whichrabble.ca will be publishing in the coming days. 

On our second day in Gaza, we spent the day with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), an independent, grassroots Palestinian organization that operates in both Gaza and the West Bank, organizing Palestinian farmers and engaging in programs to support Palestinian farmers’ and agricultural workers’ steadfastness, independence and resistance to occupation. Palestinian agricultural workers are on the front lines in confronting occupation – their existence and continued presence on their land is a deep and abiding resistance.

The politics of a heatwave


Heatwave reminds Palestinians of not-so-distant shores
Published Sunday 15/07/2012 (updated) 16/07/2012 18:07
Jaffa, known to Palestinians as the ‘bride of the sea’.


As temperatures in Palestine and Israel continue to rise to scorching heights, weather forecasters tell us to head to beaches and lakes, or seek respite under air conditioning.This week, temperatures are expected to reach 44 degrees centigrade in the shade, and the high humidity levels will make it seem even hotter.It is important for weathermen to remind people of the dangers of sun and heat exposure.

In Israel, it is helpful to remind residents who are too busy to think of a beach trip, or who might even fail to notice the burning heat as they move from air-conditioned homes, to cars, to workplaces.

But just across the land, sometimes only a couple of minutes drive away, the situation is completely different.

Clinton assures Israel Mursi will keep Gaza closure


Published Monday 16/07/2012 (updated) 17/07/2012 18:01
Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi and Foreign Minister Muhammad 
Kamel Amr meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the presidential 
palace in Cairo July 14, 2012. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Israeli officials during her visit to the country on Monday that the new Egyptian president had promised her he would not end the closure of the Gaza Strip, an Israeli news site said.Clinton secured a promise from Muhammad Mursi, Egypt’s first Islamist president, that it would not fully open the Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip, the sole entry and exit point not controlled by Israel, Israel’s Inyan Merkazi (‘Central Issues’) news site said.

Aid? Why Not Trade?

by Jeehan Alfarra


I recognize the value of aid brought into Gaza and with all my heart appreciate the immense efforts undergone by all sincere conveyers and Palestinian solidarity figures to help the Gazan population. But right as Ken O’Keefe put it ” Bringing Aid… All that does is deal with the results of the problem, it does not deal with the root of the problem… We need to establish trade; once we establish trade, we can get raw materials in, the factories can be rebuilt, people can go back to work, the economy can be developed, Palestinians will have no need for aid! None.”
And that is precisely what I think more energy should be put into, and which I am most concerned with. Trade.

Gaza is more than capable of managing its own business once given the chance (freedom and self-control, that is), and Gazans are more than capable of establishing an efficient economy had the constraints imposed on them and the zionist chains restricting their movement and thought been lifted, and Israel has to stopp its policy of ‘keeping Gaza’s economy on the brink of collapse’. The siege of Gaza has not only prevented trade and prevented an adequate amount of decent goods from entering as well as leaving Gaza, but it has also immeasurably damaged Gaza’s various local professions.

Think of the IT industry in Gaza. In point of fact, Gaza is as advanced in Information Technology as a place could ever be- not in production due to obvious reasons, but in thought and study, maintenance, software, programming, and networking. Had Gazans been ‘permitted’, and I say the word not lightly at all, a better physical connection with the outside world, investments in this field can do so much. There are innumerable IT centers in Gaza concerned for the most part with advanced IT training, local and web networking, and web-design, i.e. things which the siege cannot solidly have a much negative effect on. Yet, power cuts still make even these locally handled matters fairly difficult. Border closures and the obstruction of trade led Palestinians in Gaza to turn to insecure means to bring into the strip as much of advanced technology as possible- a marked example is the tunnels- and also hindered, and blocked if you may, any viable advancement in production in this field. This suffocating strategy forces some IT experts in Gaza to get the hell out to be able to invest in themselves.

Gaza holds an EXPOTECH every year- it is not an EXPOTECH as you would think it should be, but hey at least Gaza tries with all its capacities and capabilities. The video is available here.

Put major matters aside. Think of something as simple as an advertising center. It may not be something so significant in a place like Gaza, you may say; however, the troubles undergone to produce a poster, a logoed t-shirt, a doctor’s stamp, a calendar, a file holder, a street sign, or a banner are ridiculous. The continuous power cuts which affect the computer-dependent design work, the lack of sufficient printing machines , and the lack of the desired, decent material are troubles that managers of advertising centers can’t get off their heads. So innocently I told the manager of an advertising center once, ‘well, you should manufacture your own machines’. His bitter laugh, later joined by mine, said all that can be said in response to me. If we have troubles producing a poster for the lack of material, how are we supposed to produce a machine! Haha… Yeah… Factories are something unusual in Gaza as it is almost next to impossible to have all the necessary components of bringing a certain product into being, and when you find factories, you would find that the entire manufacturing process depends on 3 or 4 machines which they have managed in some extraordinary manner to get into the strip. Not only that, but in owning a factory, you risk being an easy, potential target of an Israeli jet. Israel loves bombing factories under the claim that they are weapon caches (An example to this can be found in my first-hand account of the bombing of the tile factory next to my house during the 2008 offensive).
For my video on the difficulties advertising houses undergo, click here [not linked in original].

Think of entertainment as well! Music, playgrounds, amusement parks that were bombarded… etc

And the list goes on…