Statement from Women’s Boat to Gaza – October 5, 2016

This afternoon at 15:58 (CEST) on 5 October, the Israeli Occupation Navy surrounded the Zaytouna-Oliva in International Waters and kidnapped the 13 human rights activists on their way to Gaza. A list of all the women on board can be found here.

The IOF began to intercept the boat around the same time as the IOF were bombing Gaza earlier this afternoon, one of Israel’s many breaches of the ceasefire this year.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza is calling for their immediate release as well as the release of our boat, seized in an act of state piracy in international waters about 40 nautical miles from the Port of Gaza.

The last message heard from Mairead Maguire stated: “We are people of the world, we should be allowed to visit our brothers and sisters in Gaza and not be stopped. We will continue to support the people of Gaza and the people of Palestine until they have their human rights and their freedom.”

No country has the right to isolate a whole people and collectively punish them against international law. In 2011 five UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights underlined the illegality of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and the situation has not improved since then. We will continue our actions for the Palestinians of Gaza to show to the international community, the UN, the EU, USA, that everybody in the world has a responsibility to work to get this blockade lifted and freedom for the Palestinians of Gaza who must have the freedom to travel without restriction.

The international community must stop Israel from interfering with peaceful civilian navigation to Gaza, since they do not have the legal or moral right to enforce a blockade that collectively punishes 1.9 million Palestinian people.

We call on individuals and organizations to contact the appropriate authorities to demand the safety and immediate release of these activists.  Contact information can be found here.

Canadian Boat to Gaza:   email:

Bateau Canadien pour GAZA:   courriel: