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 (which was found to be legal by the UN's Palmer report,[1] but which has been declared illegal by the International Committee of the Red Cross[2] and by a number of other international bodies[3][4][5][6]) through nonviolent direct action, by sailing from Palestine with export products.[7]


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.[8]

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.[9]


The Gaza's Ark campaign was launched in May 2012 to raise funds and awareness.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]


  1. ^ Agence France-Presse/Jiji Press (3 September 2011). "Deadly Israeli strike on flotilla 'excessive': U.N.". The Japan Times. p. 5. 
  2. ^ "ICRC says Israel's Gaza blockade breaks law". BBC News. 14 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "U.N. envoy Tutu calls Gaza blockade illegal". Reuters. 28 May 2008. 
  4. ^ "Maan News Agency: UN rights chief urges Israel to end 'illegal' Gaza blockade". 18 November 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Gray-Block, Aaron (5 June 2010). "Gaza blockade illegal, must be lifted-UN's Pillay". Reuters. 
  6. ^ Amnesty International Israel's Gaza blockade continues to suffocate daily life 18 January 2010 [1]
  7. ^ Gaza's Ark Products 16 December 2014
  8. ^ Building hope: Palestinian producers receive payments for Gaza Ark exports 7 July 2014 [2]
  9. ^ Prominent Endorsers 16 December 2014
  10. ^ William Temple (18 May 2012). "Gaza-Built Boat to Sail from Gaza". Retrieved 12 August 2017. 
  11. ^ Support for Gaza exports: Product payments & ongoing solidarity 9 October 2014 [3]
  12. ^ MECA Distributes Local Food Packages in Gaza 19 December 2014 Archived December 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.

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