[Imc-East.-Mediterr.] Free Gaza Boats Arrive in Gaza - FGM Press Release

Angela Godfrey-Goldstein angela at icahd.org
Sat Aug 23 10:05:21 PDT 2008




For More Information, please contact:

(Gaza) Huwaida Arraf, tel. +972 599 130 426

(Gaza) Jeff Halper, tel. +972 542 002 642


(Cyprus) Osama Qashoo, tel. +357 99 793 595 / osamaqashoo at gmail.com

(Jerusalem) Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, tel. +972 547 366 393 /
angela at icahd.org


GAZA (23 August 2008) - Two small boats, the SS Free Gaza and the SS
Liberty, successfully landed in Gaza early this evening, breaking the
Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. 


The boats were crewed by a determined group of international human rights
workers from the Free Gaza Movement. They had spent two years organizing the
effort, raising money by giving small presentations at churches, mosques,
synagogues, and in the homes of family, friends, and supporters. 


They left Cyprus on Thursday morning, sailing over 350 kilometers through
choppy seas. They made the journey despite threats that the Israeli
government would use force to stop them. They continued sailing although
they lost almost all communications and navigation systems due to outside
jamming by some unknown party. They arrived in Gaza to the cheers and joyful
tears of hundreds of Palestinians who came out to the beaches to welcome


Two small boats, 42 determined human rights workers, one simple message:
"The world has not forgotten the people of this land. Today, we are all from


Tonight, the cheering will be heard as far away as Tel Aviv and Washington





"We recognize that we're two, humble boats, but what we've accomplished is
to show that average people from around the world can mobilize to create
change. We do not have to stay silent in the face of injustice. Reaching
Gaza today, there is such a sense of hope, and hope is what mobilizes people

--Huwaida Arraf. 


Huwaida is Palestinian-American, and also a citizen of Israel. She's a human
rights activist and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement. In
2007 she received her Juris Doctor from American University in Washington
D.C.  Currently she teaches Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Al Quds
University in Jerusalem. Huwaida sailed to Gaza aboard the SS Liberty.


"We're the first ones in 41 years to enter Gaza freely - but we won't be the
last. We welcome the world to join us and see what we're seeing."

--Paul Larudee, Ph.D. 


Paul is a cofounder of the Free Gaza Movement and a San Francisco Bay Area
activist on the issue of justice in Palestine. He sailed to Gaza aboard the
SS Liberty.


"What we've done shows that people can do what governments should have done.
If people stand up against injustice, we can truly be the conscience of the

--Jeff Halper, Ph.D.


Jeff is an Israeli professor of anthropology and coordinator of the Israeli
Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), a non-violent Israeli peace and
human rights organization that resists the Israeli occupation on the ground.
In 2006, the American Friends Service Committee nominated Jeff to receive
the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize with Palestinian intellectual and activist
Ghassan Andoni. Jeff sailed to Gaza aboard the SS Free Gaza.


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