Two boats with all-women crews set sail Wednesday for the Gaza Strip from Barcelona, Spain. They are planning to travel across the Mediterranean and break the Israeli blockade on Gaza by delivering much-needed medical supplies to the people of Gaza.
The participants in the siege-breaking boat hail from fifteen different countries and include members of Parliament and other dignitaries.
From Barcelona, the boats will travel to France, and one other port before heading to Gaza. This is just the latest of a series of boats that have tried to break the blockade on Gaza since Israel imposed the air, sea and land blockade in 2006.
The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, arrived at the port on Wednesday along with hundreds of supporters, to offer her support for the mission of the Women‚Äôs Boat to Gaza trip.
The two boats have been named the ‚ÄúAmal‚ÄĚ, which means ‚Äėhope‚Äô in Arabic, and ‚ÄúZaytouna‚ÄĚ, which means ‚Äėolive‚Äô in Arabic.
The list of passengers includes Tunisian MP Latifa Habashi; Malin Bj√∂rk, a Member of European Parliament from Sweden; Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the invasion of Iraq; and Dr. Fauziah Modh Hasan, a Malaysian physician who has participated in many humanitarian missions with the Malaysian Medical Relief Society.
The Chairman of the Popular Committee to Support Gaza, Essam Youssef, said in a statement that the Women‚Äôs Boat to Gaza is ‚Äúa humanitarian cry in the face of an illegitimate siege imposed on an innocent people that has been calling for years on the international community for help.‚ÄĚ
He added, ‚ÄúPalestine will remain the axis of struggle not just in the Middle East but also in the world. Achieving justice for Palestine is the key to stability in the region and the world.‚ÄĚ
Wednesday‚Äôs launch of the Women‚Äôs Boat to Gaza came just as the U.S. Congress authorized an unprecedented $38.5 billion aid package to Israel, despite acknowledging in the same session that Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank has violated all signed agreements and international law.
Band in Barcelona giving a send-off to the boats:
Boat taking off from port: