Freedom Flotilla boat Handala in Liverpool to Challenge Blockade of Gaza

The Freedom Flotilla vessel Handala, sailing against the blockade of Gaza, will be in Liverpool from Sunday 2 July. Supporters of human rights for Palestinians, especially for the Palestinians of Gaza who are mostly children and refugees, will greet Handala in the port of Liverpool, and attend solidarity events organised by Liverpool Friends of Palestine.

There is a public meeting to welcome the boat that is due to sail to break the Gaza blockade next year, at St Bride’s church, Percy Street L8 7LT, free entrance (light refreshments from 6.30pm). Find out more by visiting the Liverpool Friends of Palestine website.

This 18 metre former fishing vessel from northern Norway joins more than 12 years of Freedom Flotilla Coalition sailings which have challenged the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza with successive voyages since 2010. In solidarity with Palestinians, the Freedom Flotilla is visiting at various ports in Europe in July and August 2023 to raise collective awareness about Israel’s illegal and inhumane occupation and blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Flotilla will be in England and Wales between 2 July and 24 July.

Partial shot of deck and rail of the boat, with large banner of "Handala" (in English and Arabic) with the cartoon figure of Handala.
Handala leaving Scotland.

This year’s voyage began in early April in Kristiansund, Norway and will continue to visit northern European ports in June, July and August of 2023 to raise awareness about western governments’ complicity with the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza and occupation of Palestine. The vessel was named Handala in Bergen on April 13, in honour of Naji Al-Ali’s emblematic cartoon of a Palestinian refugee child who is waiting for return to a free Palestine. This same Freedom Flotilla vessel will sail to the Mediterranean to challenge the blockade of Gaza more directly in 2024.

Herman Reksten, the captain of Handala from Norway to Scotland who has participated in many Freedom Flotilla missions, commented: “In all my sailing career I have never seen a border until I came into a harbour. The blockade of Gaza is an artificial offshore border created to oppress the Palestinians of Gaza, who are mostly children.”

For more background see our Frequently Asked Questions and our 2023 Mission. Donate to the Freedom Flotilla in £ here.  #ForGazaKids #EndGazaBlockade

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