More Than Chocolates Flotilla Cargo

The Free Gaza Flotilla brought many countries and organizations together to open the Israeli blockade of Gaza during the spring of 2010. This would be the 8th flotilla to Gaza – the first 5 arrived successfully.  This time, the journey ended in tragedy when Israeli navy commandos took over all the boats in international waters.

The Rebuilding Alliance was one of two American Non-Governmental Organizations that put cargo aboard the flotilla (the Sisters of Mercy sent a medical package). Hundreds of people donated through to send chocolates, backpacks, school supplies, and  sports equipment to the Al Basma Center for the Disabled, and cement to build a new kindergarten in Rafah, Gaza.  We sent it aboard the Irish ship, the MV Rachel Corrie.

After the boats were impounded, the Rebuilding Alliance worked with the Irish Free Gaza Movement to negotiate with the UN to assure the entry of that cargo into Gaza.  All of it was received by various UN agencies in Gaza.   The UN would not guarantee that the material would go directly to the projects.

Here is a link to the Free Gaza website for more information about that flotilla and the next one, planning to set sail in May, 2011.  Based on the lessons we learned, the Rebuilding Alliance strongly to open a shipping lane to Gaza, including all certifications that will help reassure Israel and the international community of the integrity of this Non-governmental effort, at all levels.