Tag Archives: West Bank

Palestinians set to export from Gaza via Freedom Flotilla III

Exhibition of Palestinian products which were to be exported aboard Gaza's Ark last year, and which are now waiting for the Freedom Flotilla III to challenge the blockade once again.

Exhibition of Gaza's Ark products from all of Palestine, for export by Freedom Flotilla
Gaza City June 6-8.

When Gaza's Ark was destroyed during last year’s attack on Gaza by Israel, we all lost a boat intended to break the blockade “from the inside out". But our goal of helping to build a sovereign Palestinian economy based on freedom of movement has not changed. Palestinian products from both Gaza and the West Bank were to be exported not only as a symbolic stimulus to the Palestinian economy but to show the world the industrious work of craftspeople and farmers who continue to struggle against the overwhelming odds of occupation, economic strangulation and war.
Invitation to Gaza's Ark products exhibition, June 6-7-8, in Gaza City.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is now on its way to once again challenge the blockade of Gaza. The remaining goods that were to be exported by Gaza’s Ark are now to form part of the export cargo of the Freedom Flotilla when it reaches Gaza. To showcase these goods and highlight exactly what Israel was trying to stop by destroying Gaza’s Ark, Palestinian producers organizations are participating in an exhibition of export goods at the Red Crescent Hall (near Al Azhar University) in Gaza City, from June 6th to 8th, 11am to 6pm.

Sameera Qarmout, from one of the producers’ organizations at the exhibit, says: "Before it was attacked, we had the hope that our embroideries would be exported aboard Gaza's Ark. The coming Freedom Flotilla III has given us a light of new hope that our products will still be made available to world markets." The exhibit includes goods from Palestinian producers in Gaza as well as goods from West Bank producers that reached Gaza in spite of the Israeli Occupier’s restrictions: embroidery, wood carvings and olive oil.

Watch this video to both see some of the products that Israel barred from export and to hear first hand from Palestinians about what these goods mean to them. One of the West Bank artisans whose products are at the exhibition in Gaza stated: “My dream is to go to Gaza… we can go all over the world but we can’t go to Gaza – which says a lot about the situation”. This exhibition not only shows the world the tragedy of the ongoing separation of the Palestinian people imposed by Israeli policies in the occupied territories – in direct contravention of the Oslo accords – but also fosters connection between producers in the West Bank, Gaza and their customers around the world.

Organizations and individuals in Australia, North America and Europe purchased over $24 000 USD worth of Palestinian export goods via Gaza’s Ark, and new orders are still being placed, showing the confidence people have in the need for a Palestinian economy. Peter Downey (Chair, Bethlehem B&NES Links Ltd., Bath, England) adds: “We have bought goods from West Bank artisans as samples for a potential distributor of their products in the UK and Europe. This new sea route will be far less expensive than the courier system to which we are subject currently. It is vital for the economic development of the Palestinian State that there are trade routes by which they can export their goods."

The Israeli military did not just target Gaza’s Ark. It targeted the hope that Palestinians have for an economy based on their right to export their products from their own port, independently of the occupying power. As the Freedom Flotilla III as it sets its sights on economic freedom and social justice for the 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, follow our progress athttps://freedomflotilla.org/ and https://shiptogaza.se/en, and on Twitter:@CanadaBoatGaza @GazaFFlotilla @ShiptoGazaSE and @GazaArk   
For more information about this event, please contact product exhibitcoordinator for Gaza’s Ark, Awni Farhat at  awnifarhat@hotmail.com  (+972599838447, English, العربية). Regarding the role of Gaza’s Ark in the Freedom Flotilla III, contact David Heap david.heap@gmail.com (+15198593579, English, français, espagnol).
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1417964708527164/

Lift blockade on Palestine, India tells Israel

United Nations: India has voiced its strong concern on the deteriorating situation in the Middle East and urged Israel to completely lift the blockade on Palestine and implement the provisions of ceasefire agreement reached in November 2012.

Addressing the Security Council Open Debate yesterday on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Kumar Mukerji said that Israel has recently taken some measures to allow flow of essential goods into Gaza.

UN aid agency suspends Gaza distribution

5 April 2013

Fears the move could exacerbate hardship caused by controls on the isolated enclave's borders

A Palestinian woman takes part in a symbolic military funeral for Maysara Abu Hamdeya in Gaza City  yesterday.  Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters


A Palestinian woman takes part in a symbolic military funeral for Maysara Abu Hamdeya in Gaza City yesterday. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

The main United Nations humanitarian agency for Palestinians has suspended operations in the Gaza Strip after demonstrators angered by aid cutbacks stormed its headquarters.

Apartheid Roads, Financed by Donor Countries and World Bank

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The donors support Apartheid. (Photo: Mats Svensson)
The donors support Apartheid. (Photo: Mats Svensson)

March 26 2013

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan

Since achieving military hegemony over its neighboring states and forging a strategic –indeed paramount- relationship with the US, the world’s sole military superpower, Israel as a settler-colonial state felt free to colonize the occupied Arab lands. The Israelis changed the name of the West Bank to the Biblical names of Judea and Samaria, annexed East Jerusalem and launched Jewish-only settlement programs to expand the borders of their state. 

Despite Supreme Court recommendation: State upholds refusal to allow gender studies students to travel from Gaza to the West Bank


Despite Supreme Court recommendation: State upholds refusal to allow gender studies students to travel from Gaza to the West Bank

July 25, 2012. Despite a court order to reconsider, Israel’s Defense Ministry today announced that it will not back down on its refusal to allow five female students from Gaza to reach their studies in the West Bank. The announcement effectively returns the matter to the purview of the Supreme Court, which will be asked to rule on the case. Because the students’ classes at Birzeit University start on August 22nd, the petitioners will ask the court to hear the case quickly.

The state’s response was given in a petition filed by the human rights organizations Gisha and Al Mezan on behalf of five students from Gaza who are enrolled in gender studies, democracy and law programs at Birzeit University in the West Bank. In a hearing held in May, the state admitted that there were no individual security allegations against the five students, and that the refusal was part of a blanket ban on travel for all students from Gaza who wish to study in the West Bank. At that hearing, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the state to reconsider its refusal.

Hard Crossings

Watch this video by filmmaker Muhammad Salama that highlights the lack of freedom of movements of Palestinians  > http://aje.me/Q3VvlU

We follow Palestinians as they navigate the Israeli checkpoints that have become a frustrating feature of daily life.

Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank have become part of everyday life for the thousands of Palestinians who must pass through them daily.

Israel claims that the checkpoints are vital to stop suicide bombers entering its cities.

But critics say they are a form of collective punishment – effectively sealing off Palestinian cities, hindering travel and access to schools and medical care and jeopardising any hopes for peace.

Hazem al-Qawasmeh, the founder of Karama, or the International Campaign for Freedom of Movement for Palestinians, says: “These military checkpoints restrict Palestinians’ movement and turn their cities into prisons. The West Bank has now become a big prison. It is separated from the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem.

“Qalandiya checkpoint is one of the worst checkpoints in the West Bank. Palestinians have to wait there for hours as they try to cross from the West Bank to Jerusalem.”

Hard Crossings follows the Palestinians who must navigate these checkpoints and for whom they have become a frustrating and often humiliating feature of daily life.

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 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.