Freedom Flotilla Coalition’s ‘Handala’ Ship Sets Sail Again From Norway

OSLO, NORWAY: The Freedom Flotilla Coalition’s (FFC) vessel Handala set sail to several Northern European countries today. Handala’s “For the Children of Gaza” mission departs from Norway to challenge and break the inhumane blockade of Gaza and to shed light on the consequences of the inhumane measures taken against Palestinian children by Israel, with the support of the US and other countries, despite the global outcry for a permanent cease fire and the end of an occupied Palestine.

‘It feels important to be able to participate in a manifestation that draws people’s attention to Israel’s genocide in Gaza”, said Stefan. Sundström is among the human rights activists and artists traveling on or meeting Handala, such as the group Nynningen, General Knas, and Karin Renberg, who will perform at several ports and finally in Malmö, where Eurovision is taking place. Both artists Mikael Wiehe and Daniel Lemma will be present at the reception.

“I have been supporting Ships to Gaza for many years, and this year I am more determined than ever! “ says Mikael Wiehe. For 18 years, Israel’s blockade has deprived 2.3 million Palestinian children in Gaza of safety, education and health, as well as any prospect of a decent future. Since October 2023, the ongoing massacre has gone beyond this gradual destruction of hope to cruel, relentless killings. Hundreds of children are killed every week in Israel’s indiscriminate attacks that have so far destroyed 70% of Gaza’s homes.

Large demonstrations in support of our action and against the genocide in Gaza are expected in each port. Programmes will be organized by activists, organizations and individuals, including speeches, children’s activities, Palestinian folk dancing, poetry, singing and music.

“For us it is a matter of course to do what we can to end the war and bring this ship into harbour”, says Nikke Ström, Nynningen.

Handala sailed in 2023 to ports in northern Europe, and restarted today in Oslo, with plans to visit the following ports in Sweden:

  • Lysekil 3 May – Anderssons kaj, 16.00 PM
  • Gothenburg 4 May – Point 65 Kajakcenter/Lilla Bommen at the Opera, 15.00 PM
  • Halmstad 6 May – BK Najaden, Strandgatan 5, 18.00 PM
  • Helsingborg 7 May – Dunkers Kulturhus, 17.00 PM
  • Malmö 8-10 May – Dockan Marina Malmö Cityhamn, 15.00 PM

Handala will then head to other northern European ports, to the Mediterranean and eventually towards Gaza.

This Handala relaunch comes just a week after three UN Special Rapporteurs demanded the safe passage of the flotilla stating “Countries are not complying with their obligations to end Israel’s genocide and starvation in Gaza. In fact, many countries continue supporting Israel with weapons, funds and political support: this may make them complicit in Israel’s genocide and starvation. This is why civilians, like the Freedom Flotilla participants, are increasingly showing their solidarity by protecting and fulfilling Palestinian human rights through direct action. They express the will of a global movement, especially sustained by youth worldwide, to bring the horrors in Gaza to an end – in the interest of both Palestinians and Israelis.”