Tag Archives: release

Under Israeli fire, Gaza fishermen plan protest tent to “free the Holy Land sea”

12th December 2013 | Free the Holy Land Sea | Gaza, Occupied Palestine

The Israeli navy regularly attacks and captures fishermen in Palestinian waters off the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Rosa Schiano)

The Israeli navy regularly attacks and captures fishermen in Palestinian waters off the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Rosa Schiano)



On Tuesday, 17 December, Palestinian fishermen will pitch a protest tent in the Gaza seaport. The structure, which will stand for three days and be decorated with pictures of fishermen attacked or captured by the Israeli navy, is a demonstration against Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and its military attacks on Palestinian fishermen.

Release: Sailing the winds of freedom with kids from Gaza

Friday, November 29, 2013 
-for immediate release –
Sailing the winds of freedom with kids from Gaza 
Contacts in Gaza : 
Mahfouz Kabariti (العربية, English) +970 599 745666  kabariti80@hotmail.com
Heba Hayek: +972599927028  HEBA_HAYEK@yahoo.com 
International contacts:
David Heap (English, français, español) +1 519 859 3579   david.heap@gmail.com
Ehab Lotayef (English, Arabic)  +1 514 941 9792                   lotayef@gmail.com
For additional contacts, see: http://www.gazaark.org/contact-us/
Hundreds of Palestinian children will be launching mini-Arks from the port of Gaza out to sea (www.gazaark.org/2013/10/26/sponsor-a-mini-ark-now). The event begins at 12:30PM Gaza Time, on Saturday November 30th, in the Port of Gaza, near Gaza's Ark. 
The effects of the blockade on children in Gaza will be described by speakers representing different civil society organizations in Gaza. This mini-Ark action focuses attention to the devastating conditions for children living inside the Gaza Strip, as fuel to run their basic needs and other essentials have been denied to them. Baroness Jenny Tonge writes from Westminster, U.K. “The children of Gaza are trapped in a horrible and life threatening situation through no fault of their own. They do not have enough food, the water is undrinkable and they wade through sewage to and from school, now that the sewage pumps no longer work, due to the mean and cruel actions of the Israeli government.”
U.S. playwright Naomi Wallace adds: “As historian Howard Zinn noted, All wars are wars against children. The Mini Arks are sailing to honor the rights of children, that they may live in peace and safety.  May the strong winds of justice fill their sails.”  Gaza's Ark and our supporters around the world stand with the children of Gaza today and as long as it takes to end the blockade.
The mini-Arks initiative is supported by a growing number of Palestinian organizations:
Al Amal Institute for orphans – https://www.facebook.com/Alamal.for.orphans
Rehabilitation and development program for women – https://www.facebook.com/rdpwgaza
Dr. Haider abed el Shafi Center for Training – https://www.facebook.com/htcgaza
Society and Family development association – https://www.facebook.com/tanmia.pal
For Palestine children ( Atfal Palestine) – https://www.facebook.com/atfalpal
Al Qalaa center for training and development – https://www.facebook.com/alqlaa.Center
Zahrat E-Tfoola
National agency for family care
Afaaq Jadida (New Horizons)
Palestinian Women’s Union (PWU)
More background info at www.GazaArk.org/faq or email info@gazaark.org

Release: Estelle crew were beaten during the attack


Estelle crew were beaten during the attack and by interrogators

Canadian Jim Manly still in detention

for immediate release

Montreal, 20121022 – 22h00

As Jim Manly, former Canadian  MP (1980-88) and retired United Church Minister, continues to be detained in Israel with many of the other crew members of the Estelle, without any news about when he will be released.  This despite freeing the Greek, Italian and Spanish citizens who were on the Estelle and the release of Israeli activists after being detained and charged.

Elik Elhanan, one of the Israelis released, said that excessive force and tasers were used against them and that a Greek MP was beaten by Shabak Security Service interrogators.

Free Gaza Australia: Israel attacks human rights activists in international waters – again

For immediate Release from Free Gaza Australia

Israel attacks human rights activists in international waters – again…

Sunday, 21 October, 2012 (6pm)

The Israeli military has once more attacked an unarmed sailing boat (Estelle) in international waters on Saturday 20 October (ESDST). The Estelle was in international waters, approximately 17 nautical miles north of Arish, Egypt. It was carrying a small amount of humanitarian aid, including basketballs, musical equipment and cement; an anchor for Gaza’s Ark; parliamentarians from five countries; and activists who were challenging the illegal naval blockade of 1.6 million people living in Gaza, Palestine. There have now been more than a dozen attempts to break the illegal naval blockade, with Sydney’s Michael Coleman experiencing the same unjustified aggression and detention when part of the Freedom Waves to Gaza in November 2011.

Video: We have lost contact with the Estelle

Israel attacks the Estelle in International Waters


Israel attacks the Estelle in International Waters
Kidnaps Parliamentarians and activists

for immediate release

Montreal, 20121020-04h30
Shortly after 4:00AM EDT when the Estelle was in international waters approx. 17 Nautical Miles north of Arish, Egypt (as per the last coordinates we have) Israeli war ships surrounded it and the assault on the peaceful ship started.

Communications were lost at that time and all reports we got from the ship were choppy.

Among others, the following individuals were on board:
Former Member of Parliament Manly James, Canada
Member of Parliament Hagen Aksel, Norway
Member of Parliament Britton Sven, Sweden
Member of Parliament Kodelas Dimitios, Greece
Member of Parliament Sixto Ricardo, Spain
Member of Parliament Diamantopoulos  Evangelos, Greece

Full list of individuals onboard: http://shiptogaza.se/en/news/sailors-onboard-estelle

See Jim Manly’s pre-recorded video message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8egYBdf-Zo

Hear audio recording of interview with Jim Manly on the Estelle just hours before the attack:

Our previous releases on the Estelle and Jim Manly can be found here:

Jim Manly  + 8707 76 727 941 (unfortunately Israel now blocked all communication to the ship)
See Jim Manly’s pre-recorded video message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8egYBdf-Zo

Eva Manly 250-616-3166
Ehab Lotayef 514-941-9792
Sandra Ruch 416-716-4010

Nino Pagliccia 604-831-9821

David Heap +972 59 289 3106


Release: Will the UN support the siege?


Release 17 October 2012

Ship to Gaza Sweden

Israel’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor has sent a letter calling on the UN and other representatives of the international community to stop the Ship to Gaza sailing vessel Estelle from reaching its destination. If this means that Israel has decided to leave control over Palestinian territorial waters to the UN it is a fall forward.

The UN and many other representatives of the international community have for years characterized the siege of the Gaza Strip as inhuman and incompatible with international law.

Ship to Gaza Sweden assumes that that UN will not take over the implementation of this policy by preventing a peaceful vessel from delivering humanitarian supplies.

Ship to Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla have never opposed lawful inspections of cargo and vessel from representatives of the UN, or from national authorities in the ports and waters we have passed through and we welcome further inspections of this kind from the UN when we have anchored in Gaza City. What we refuse to accept is something which also the UN and the majority of the international community oppose: the illegal and, in a humanitarian perspective, devastating siege of the Gaza strip.


Release: What is Estelle´s cargo to Gaza?

Release: 17 October 2012

No ship has undergone as many and as thorough inspections as Estelle has during the last couple of months. We have had several so-called Port State Controls.

Thousands of visitors with their own eyes have been able to assure themselves of what we are bringing in our cargo and that we ourselves are non-violent human rights activists.

Our cargo, loaded in ports along the journey, consists of things necessary for survival as well as things that make life more comfortable.

Release: A world parliament on its way to Gaza

World Parliamentarians sail to Gaza on the Estelle

For immediate release

16 October 2012

Today the Freedom Flotilla Coalition tall ship, The Estelle is on its way to Gaza carrying Parliamentarians from  Greece (Vangelis Diamandopoulos), Norway (Aksel Hagen), Spain (Ricardo Sixto Iglesias) and Sweden (Sven Britton); and a retired Canadian Parliamentarian (Jim Manly – see his personal message below*).  On the Estelle now are citizens of Canada, Finland, Greece, Israel, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

All on board the Estelle are peaceful civilians committed to non violence.

The Estelle carries a cargo of aid to the Israeli blockaded Palestinian population of Gaza, but above all it is carrying a cargo of solidarity.

It also carries an anchor and communication equipment needed for the construction of Gaza’s Ark.  It is expected to reach Gaza by the weekend.

– 30 –

For more information or to speak to Jim Manly (Canadian retired MP) on board the Estelle, please call:

Ehab Lotayef 514-941-9792

Sandra Ruch 416-716-4010

Nino Pagliccia 604-831-9821


Message from Jim Manly on board the Estelle sailing to Gaza

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: http://www.unrwa.org/etemplate.php?id=1423 .

When Eva and I were in Bethlehem in May we saw an image painted on the “Annexation Wall” which reads: “Now you have seen. You are responsible!” We take this responsibility seriously.”

As we approach the Sea of Gaza we are filled with hope. I look forward to delivering the anchor for Gaza’s Ark (video: http://www.gazaark.org/2012/10/15/video-jim-manly-will-deliver-a-canadian-anchor-to-gaza) . We carry humanitarian supplies. Our only “dangerous cargo” is a cargo of HOPE.

Please hold us and the people of Gaza in your thoughts, meditations and prayers.


Jim Manly


Press release on non violence training on the Estelle


Press release on non violence training

14 October 2012

All passengers and crew of M/S Estelle are prepared on the risk of illegal and violent boarding by the Israeli military in international waters, as happened in 2010. Everyone has gone through training in nonviolent behavior by the Swedish peace researcher Stellan Vinthagen, an experienced international trainer.

During the trainings everyone has signed a pledge to act peacefully also during risk of life, and they have learned the rules of conduct, joint decision making, done role-plays on arrest and interrogation to know how to act, and they have created affinity groups that are able to give everyone emotional support during a violent attack by the IDF.

People have made practical exercises in order to find creative ways of peacefully rejecting the boarding and at the same time calming down soldiers who are falsely told we are dangerous. We have studied videos on earlier boardings, and we have shared fears and hopes with each other.