Gaza's Ark

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Gaza's Ark is an international grassroots civil society campaign challenging the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip by sailing from Palestine with export products.

Description[edit]

The campaign's goals is to shift the focus on the export economy and trade rather than a dependency on aid. The campaign funded the rebuilding of a former fishing boat in the port of Gaza to enable it to undertake a sea voyage from the only Mediterranean port closed to commercial navigation. At the same time, Gaza's Ark arranged sales contracts for Palestinian export products, whereby buyers in Europe, North America and Australia paid Palestinian producers in Gaza for their export products. The initiative includes participation from Palestinian civil society in Gaza as well as international solidarity activists from Free Gaza Australia, the Canadian Boat to Gaza, and Americans affiliated with the organizing committees for the US Boat to Gaza and the Gaza Freedom March. Gaza's Ark is part of the ongoing international Freedom Flotilla Coalition which sends boats to challenge the blockade of Gaza from the outside.

According to Gaza's Ark, their actions have been endorsed by a number of internationally prominent figures including Alice Walker, Desmond Tutu, Vandana Shiva and Noam Chomsky as well as hundreds of other individuals and organizations.

History[edit]

The Gaza's Ark campaign was launched in May 2012 to raise funds and awareness. The campaign was quickly endorsed and adopted by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. The campaign launched publicly in Gaza in November 2012, and in April 2013, an old fishing boat was purchased in Gaza. It was announced to be ready for operations by mid-2014, and Palestinian producers even began to receive payments for Gaza Ark exports.

But in April 2014, the group claimed the boat was sabotaged by an underwater bomb attack.[citation needed] And again in July 11, 2014, the Gaza's Ark claimed the boat was targeted and destroyed by a navy shelling during an attack on the port of Gaza.[citation needed]

Between September and November 2014, payments to producers for export products ordered via Gaza's Ark continued. Then in December 2014, foodstuffs worth more than $14 000, purchased via Gaza's Ark export contracts, were donated and distributed to needy Palestinian families in Gaza.

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