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'Ark' loaded with Gaza exports to set sail in 2013
Published Friday 02/11/2012 (updated) 05/11/2012 12:33
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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The first siege-breaking ship to originate inside Gaza is set to depart for an early 2013 voyage to take goods to international markets, a Red Crescent official said Friday.

Muna al-Farra says the "Gaza Ark" aims to break the Israeli blockade with help from French and Canadian activists in partnership with Palestinian activists and traders.

The ship will have 13 activists on board with an undetermined number of Palestinian traders. The voyage is expected to depart in the first months of 2013, al-Farra said.

Organizers expect to load agricultural products onto the ship after coordinating with foreign ports. The ship will also accompany Palestinian fishermen to protect them from Israeli gunboats.

Late last month the Israeli navy boarded a Finnish ship attempting to break the sea blockade and deliver aid. The cargo included cement, wheel chairs, crutches, musical instruments and toys.

Activists have mounted several other attempts to break the blockade by sea. Most were stopped by Israel, including one in May 2010 when marines killed nine activists.

Israel loosened its siege after the bloodshed sparked international outrage, but it has only allowed a trickle of exports to leave the coastal enclave.

Exports ban

The ban on exports is the most damaging restriction holding back Gaza's economy. Experts say its private sector will not recover until access to traditional markets is restored.

The few products allowed to leave are generally only sent to foreign markets and not the West Bank. In March, Israel allowed a shipment of date bars to be sent to the West Bank.

In September an Israeli official said Israel would soon allow furniture and clothes to be exported to the West Bank, after allowing certain products to leave for Europe in May.

Israel tightened restrictions on Gaza after Hamas won elections in 2006 and imposed a crippling siege in the aftermath of Fatah's ouster in the summer of 2007 and a 2008-2009 invasion.
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1 ) Amira / Canada
03/11/2012 18:26
and in spite of all this injustice Abbas supports the occupation and called the legitimate resistance "use of terror"!!!

2 ) Tibi / Tubas
05/11/2012 21:13
Let's all be realistic for a moment, since:
1- Israel has easily intercepted every siege-breaking ship from outside Gaza, even when accompanied by a large flotilla, and even when activists resisted being boarded with violence, like on the Mavi Marmara, so this
2- "first siege-breaking ship to originate inside Gaza" will certainly meet the same fate, and NOT "voyage to take goods to international markets" !!



3 ) Davey Jones / Locker
06/11/2012 18:57
I'm looking forward to the delivery... Oh Arr me hearties !

4 ) southparkbear / usa
06/11/2012 21:18
Ark should carry some arrak

5 ) @ Davey-3 / USA
07/11/2012 21:12
I wish that Israel would use such international rights, like firing
on blockade busting ships, but Israel is too civilized for it's own good,
so instead the ship will just be marked "Returned To Sender,"
bad like postage, rather than sunk to "Davey Jones' Locker".


6 ) Robert / US
08/11/2012 14:37
#2 your wrong.there has been boats that made it to Gaza.
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