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On Wednesday 14 September, the latest Freedom Flotilla Coalition will set sail from Barcelona to Gaza, aiming to arrive by 1 October. This year the mission Women's Boat to Gaza (WBG), on two boats named 'Amal-Hope and Zaytouna-Oliva, will carry out a humanitarian mission to send a message of hope and solidarity to the people of Gaza.
The WBG will carry twenty notable politicians, activists, cultural artists and media from around the globe. These include Nobel Laureate and peace activist Mairead Maguire, Swedish MEP Malin Björk, American playwright Naomi Wallace, and Turkish athlete and coach Cigdem Topçuoglu, whose husband was killed in the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010.
Its goal will be to highlight the indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora.
Gaza has been under illegal Israeli blockade for the past decade, and has effectively become an open-air prison for 1.8 million people. During this time, Israel has also launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning their lives into a nightmare and a continuous struggle.
While these physical wars have destroyed the homes, schools, economies, cultural heritage and land of Gaza, the illegal blockade prevents the entry to Gaza of aid and daily consumables such as paper, fuel, fruit and vegetables, wheat, sugar, meat, chicken, fish products, dairy products, animal feed, hygiene products, clothing and shoes.
The Freedom Flotilla is a peaceful, civil society protest against the passivity and complicity of the international community, especially western governments, in the face of the inhumane situation in Gaza. The WBG seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade, but to also show solidarity and to bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people.
We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, from different political Groups and parties, stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and call upon the European Union to help restore that hope by: