Due to technical problems, the Women’s Boat to Gaza (WBG) Amal-Hope has returned to Barcelona and is now docked at a mooring in the outer Barcelona harbor. It was joined by its sister ship Zaytouna-Oliva, which was temporarily delayed by the port authorities, although it did possess all necessary documentation. While Amal-Hope is getting assessed for needed repairs, Zaytouna-Oliva is now on its way to its next port of call, Ajaccio, France.
With regard to the Amal, WBG crew member, Madeleine Habib from Tasmania, Australia, explained that “safety is paramount. As eager as we are to visit our sisters in Gaza, we also want to make sure that we aren’t taking unnecessary risks in our voyage.” Habib, a seasoned skipper, has traveled extensively across the Mediterranean in Medecins San Frontieres rescue missions to help refugees.
WBG participant Yudit Ilany of Israel expressed the collective resolve of the women passengers. “We are certainly disappointed our French friends in Ajaccio may not have a chance to see Amal-Hope, but we trust that they will understand our priority of ensuring we sail to Gaza.” Wendy Goldsmith, a WBG organizer from Canada, agrees. “The Palestinian people are well-known for their steadfastness which they call sumud. Like them, we must continue with patience and perseverance towards our ultimate destination.”
Once an assessment of the Amal-Hope’s technical problems is made, WBG leadership will assess the prospects of continuing the journey directly to the final European port of call, Messina, Italy.
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* The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries. For more information, visit www.womensboattogaza.org.