For Immediate Release
20 September 2016
Ajaccio, Corsica, France: The Women’s Boat to Gaza (Zaytouna-Oliva) left the port of Ajaccio at 09:30 this morning. It is due to arrive later this week in Messina, Sicily, Italy, where it will dock for the last time, prior to sailing to challenge the illegal blockade of Gaza.
One of the participants aboard, Lisa Gay Hamilton said: “It is an honor to be here and join this extraordinary group of women. This issue is bigger than me, than any of us. As a mother, as a daughter, as a sister, I cannot help thinking of Palestinian women in Gaza, who live in an open-air prison because of the occupation. It is so painful to think of them, we have to take action to end the blockade of Gaza.” A full list of the participants on this leg is available at: https://wbg.freedomflotilla.org/participants.
Palmira Manusco, one of the local organisers in Messina said: “We are very pleased to host the women on Zaytouna-Oliva before they embark on this historic voyage.” During their stay in Messina, all of the women will participate in non-violence training, whilst finalising supplies and equipment for the boat.
A previous Freedom Flotilla Coalition ship, the Marianne av Göteborg from Sweden, departed from Sicily last year. It however was raided in international waters by the Israeli Occupation Forces. When asked whether the Zaytouna-Oliva will reach its destination, Manusco replied: “Our destination remains the conscience of humanity. It is up to every one of us to help them succeed in this.”
The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries.
For more information: Freedom Flotilla Italy
http://www.freedomflotilla.it/ or for general information visit www.womensboattogaza.org
Distribution of Qurban Meat to Palestinian needy families (DQMP)
Funded By: VPM
Implemented By: Dar Al Quran Al Karim Wa Sunnah (DQWS)
DQWS implemented DQMP on 3'rd day of Eid al-Adha. 2 calves and 2 sheep were slaughtered locally and their meat was distributed to 650 needy families (1 KG of pure meet for each beneficiary) in all governorates of Gaza Strip, DQMP concentrated on poor and needy families who can't afford to buy fresh meat as a result of the siege and spreading unemployment in Gaza Strip.
All of Gaza Strip governorates were covered according to percentage of population.
1. Poor families who lack income sources.
2. Orphans and widows.
3. Patients and disabled persons.
4. People who live in randomized and marginalized areas.
5. Workers involved in the slaughtering.
VPM continues to do qurban in Palestine. Photos below show Hani Thuraya our rep selecting the cows for qurban, the qurban and some of the recipients of the qurban meat.
"Hey all my friends,
The following final Video , by my amazing swimming stuff member Monther Rasheed , is dedicated to the contribution by Viva Palestine Malaysia which allowed elementary free swimming lessons for more than 130 deprived and war afflicted children from north Gaza and was held during last June/July.
Thanks again VPM for this great contribution.. Thanks again Norma Hashimand Hani Thraya for your efforts. Thanks The Italian Center for Cultural exchange headed by Meri Calvelli for your contribution to the rehabilitation of the sea swimming pool and Bait Lahia Municipality for offering the place on the Beach"
- Amjed Tantesh
This was a lovely project.
There were no summer camps this year due to funding cuts at the UN so we (VPM) were glad to be able to bring some joy to the kids with these swimming classes .
120 Palestinian kids were offered free swimming lessons that was funded by Viva Palestina Malaysia and they graduated from the course after 20 days of swimming lessons.
The project was implemented by North Gaza Cultural Center and supervised by Rowad Society for Social development with the contribution from The Italian Center for Cultural Exchange in Gaza who built the swimming pool.
Our thanks to all VPM donors who contributed towards this project. We hope we can enable more Palestinian kids to enjoy their summer season by doing activities such as this one in order to reduce the stresses and suffering they endure daily in Gaza.Watch video:
"More churches are called upon to join the prophetic and courageous action for peace by studying and responding to the Kairos Palestine call. Working for justice cannot but include informing about the truth of occupation, respecting and ensuring respect to international law, revisiting theologies that sanctioned occupation and oppression, support active nonviolence as the right of the oppressed and ‘come and see’ in search of the liberating truth."
Project No. (04/2016)
Light Camp (5) - Memorisation of Al Quran Al Karim by blind students.
Viva Palestina Malaysia (VPM) and Al Fitrah foundation in cooperation with Dar Al Quran Al Karim Wa Sunnah (DQWS) and the Palestinian Ministry of Education - Gaza Strip held the ceremony for the Light Camp (5).
DQWS honored the students who memorised new parts of Al Quran & the winners in the Second Ramadan competition for memorisation of Surat Ali-Imran. More than 100 blind persons with their families participated in this event.
15 blind students in Light Camp (5) memorised Surah Ali-Imran
150 blind persons in Gaza Strip competed in "Second Ramadan competition for blind persons in memorizing Surat Ali-Imran.
I am seated with Al Hafiz Dr Fadi one of three recipients of this ivy scholarship in 2013. He is tonight one of the high achiever award recipient! And he won one of the 4 top awards.
For 2016 there were 6 Palestinian winners. The sister and guy to my right. 4 yet to arrive out of Gaza & West Bank!
Project No. (04/2016)
Light Camp 5 "Memorization of Al Quran Al Karim by blind students"
- Viva Palestina Malaysia.
- Al Fitrah Foundation.
Targeted Group: 61 blind students.
Targeted Area: Gaza Strip.
Period: 50 days
They memorized Surah Al Imran, the second longest Quranic surah, within 39 days!
They will next compete in the second Quran competition for blind persons in Gaza Strip, funded by VPM in upcoming weeks.
The Light Camp 5 will end in the next few days, but the Light of Quran will shine their hearts, till the Day of Judgement
Our heartfelt thanks to all donors who contributed to the project and who sponsored the blind students, enabling them to memorize some parts of Al Qura'n Al Karim, in accordance with the prophet Mohamad's Hadith:- "the best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it"
120 Palestinian Kids were offered free swimming lessons in a summer camp that was funded by VPM & the Italian Center for Cultural Exchange in Gaza.
They graduated from the course after 20 days of swimming lessons.
The project was implemented by North Gaza Cultural Center, and supervised by Rowad Society for Social Development.
Our extreme gratitude to VPM donors who generously contributed to the project. It was therapeutic to the stress & suffering of children living under blockade.
VPM Project 6/2016
Ramadan Food Voucher
About 2,200 poor & needy Palestinian families in Gaza, West Bank, Syria & South Turkey were beneficiaries of this food vouchers.
Our heartfelt gratitude to all our generous donors.
Viva Palestina Malaysia (VPM) has been involved in multiple humanitarian projects in Palestine. Our signature project is micro-credit financing of family projects often led by women who are widowed (martyred husbands) or whose husbands are unlawfully imprisoned in Israel.
The first interest free, shari’ah compliant loan was disbursed during Viva Palestina Life Line to Gaza convoy in October 2009. But a carefully audited micro-credit program only began in 2012 under the close supervision of our VPM representative in Gaza.
A total of USD 122,000 have been disbursed, providing USD 1,000 – 2,500 per family. 84 projects have been financed ranging from economic start-ups (grocery store, book shop, computer outlets), handicraft start-ups (embroidery, sewing), animal breeding (chickens, sheep, beekeeping cells) and agriculture (fruit and vegetable planting). 80 projects were in Gaza and 4 in West Bank.
65 projects (77%) are fully operative. 11 projects (13%) were destroyed in the 2014 attack on Gaza. There were 8 failed projects (10%). 12 new projects have been identified for funding this first quarter. The beneficiaries have repaid USD 48,800 worth of loans which are further rolled for new projects.
The success of the micro-credit scheme in Palestine has been much attributed to our generous donors who believed in financial independency and sustainability of the Palestinian families. Strict criteria of selection to benefit the worst hit families and close supervision are crucial to ensure best practices are adhered to.
We hope the success of this micro-credit project would encourage more donors to come forward and invest in the economic recovery of Palestine in tandem with other efforts to liberate her from occupation.
Musa Mohd Nordin, Norma Hashim, Hani Thuraya
Viva Palestina Malaysia
BDS Malaysia salutes the decision of the Malaysian government to maintain its stance of not allowing representatives of Israel to attend any meeting in Malaysia including the planned FIFA congress in May 2017. This is in line and in the spirit of BDS Israel, an international call by civil societies across the globe to boycott and isolate Israel for its continued oppression of the Palestinians.
BDA Malaysia wishes to remind everyone that Israel has kept Palestinians under a brutal military occupation and they have been subjected to countless atrocities for decades, including genocide and ethnic cleansing. Israel has also flouted international law on many occasions and continues to maintain an apartheid policy despite repeated condemnations by the international community.
The sacrifice of not being able to host the FIFA congress is minuscule compared to the sufferings of millions of Palestinians living in Israel, under occupation in the West bank and under siege in Gaza. Then there are those in diaspora unable to return to their land and homes despite being granted that right under international law.
Palestinian athletes, as with all other Palestinians, are subject to Israel's injustice. Palestinian national footballer Mahmoud Sarsak was detained for 3 years without trial or charge. Zakaria Issa, a national striker was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment in 2003. Muhammad Nimr, a striker in the Palestinian youth football team was detained from 2007 to 2009. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/adri-nieuwhof/how-israel-derails-promising-careers-palestinian-football-stars
Additionally the Palestinians are denied their right to free travel, needing Israeli permission to enter or leave. Their daily lives are a web of checkpoints, ID cards and permits. Commuting is time-consuming, and very difficult, due to often arbitrary decisions by individual Israeli soldiers. Daily training is an extreme challenge for Palestinian athletes and training facilities are severely compromised. For example, Mary Al-Atrash, who is representing Palestine in the 2016 Rio Olympics, is only able to train in a 25 meter pool, instead of a standard-sized 50 meter pool, due to restrictions on her movement. It has been estimated that Palestinians lose 3 million working hours per day to travel (American Anthropological Association Task Force Israel Palestine, 2015).
In 1970 South Africa was formally ejected from the International Olympic Committee and banned from virtually all international sports till the end of its apartheid policies in 1990s. Advocates for Boycott South Africa argued, “no normal sport in an abnormal society”, that is, as long as the regime prevented everyone from participating equally in society, it should be excluded from participating equally in the international arena.
Sports, especially football, widely accepted as a global sport, is closely tied to national identity, thus making sporting isolation a bitter pill to swallow, as shown with South Africa. Therefore, the international community must stand firm and show Israel that Israelis do not deserve to have a place among the civilized people of the world, as long as their government continues their current policies and practice.
Israel must honor its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully comply with the precepts of international law by:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194
Prof Dr. Mohd Nazari Ismail