Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network strongly supports the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza and the international campaign to break the siege. We salute the latest Flotilla on its launch and will be sharing news, information and updates about the progress of this global popular effort to break the siege on Gaza that has been imposed by the Israeli colonial occupation with the full support and complicity of the United States, the European Union and reactionary Arab regimes.  This effort is one that is mobilized arm in arm with organizations in Palestine, including the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the alliance of land defenders, farmers and fishermen that works to organize the agricultural workers who face daily fire from occupation forces in the so-called “buffer zone” while farming their land or in the sea around Gaza while attempting to ply their historic trade of fishery. The fishing boat that is part of this year’s flotilla will remain behind for Palestinian fishers. 

Follow the progress of the Freedom Flotilla for a Just Future for Palestine at its website: https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/

Photo: Freedom Flotilla Coalition

The report of the Flotilla’s launch is reprinted below:

Three boats are sailing with boxes of medical supplies: Al Awda (The Return), a large converted fishing vessel; Freedom to Gaza, a large sailing vessel; and Falestine, a smaller sailing vessel. A fourth boat, Mairead, will not sail at this time. Another Sicilian port, Messina, opened its open civil society arms as usual with a series of wonderful community events, and we are grateful for their solidarity.

All three boats making their way to Gaza  will be donated to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, that includes a fisherman’s union that will use the boats to fish in order to feed their families.

Spokesperson for the Swedish Ship to Gaza campaign, Jeannette Escanilla, said the boats would provide important economic and training opportunities for Palestinians trapped in Gaza.

“The illegal Israeli naval blockade has devastated the Palestinian economy, and in particular has hurt the fishing industry in Gaza so these boats will provide important economic opportunities for Palestinians in Gaza, and also training opportunities in sailing, to enable them to gain better qualifications. Currently, the Israeli Occupying Force prevent Palestinians in Gaza from sailing more than a few nautical miles from shore, and routinely attack fishing and other boats from Gaza.”