Changing Circumstances – Gaza’s Ark
We are sure that you are following the disturbing events in Egypt and their implications for life in Gaza as you are following the progress of Gaza’s Ark.
The situation is complex and difficult. Gaza’s life line and pressure release valve is the Rafah crossing and the tunnels, both directly affected by what happens in Egypt. The Rafah crossing has been closed far more often than open lately and only 10% of the tunnels remain functional.
But the effect of what is happening in Egypt on the Palestinians of Gaza is more than material. It is also psychological. What is happening in Egypt is causing anxiety, uncertainty and worries in Gaza that have far reaching effects.
The progress in Gaza’s Ark rebuilding has considerably slowed down over the last weeks due to this (beyond the expected slow down we anticipated due to Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr), so we are revising our timeline to take all this into account. Our plans now are to sail in the spring of 2014.
Be assured that we are as determined as we ever were and we are keeping in mind, and hope you do too, that the effectiveness of Gaza’s Ark depends on the support it will get before it sets sail and the pressure its supporters and the international community will put on Israel not to blockade it or any subsequent similar commercial voyage.
With more time we have a better chance to muster that support in all countries around the world. The support and involvement network for Gaza’s Ark now exists in over a dozen countries and is expanding. More time will give us more opportunity to broaden and deepen support for this initiative.
The work on the Ark is moving forward, despite the ordeals. We will be giving you an update on that soon. Meanwhile we appreciate and continue to count on all the different kinds of ongoing support you provide to build hope for the Palestinian people.
Gaza’s Ark Steering Committee