A Coruña Welcomes Handala

We left Santander accompanied by a small boat from the local community that followed us to the entrance to the open sea. We sailed calmly to the vicinity of A Coruña, where we were informed that the berth in port where we were supposed to dock had been canceled.

Over the next few hours, our local support group in A Coruña had to find another port at the last minute, something that is very challenging during the high summer season in northern Galicia. At the same time, we were observed by the Spanish Navy: without communication they let us sail for more than five hours while the port problem was resolved.

Eventually, we were notified that a port away from the center had been arranged as an alternative to not canceling Handala’s visit in A Coruña.

Despite the change of the port, activists from A Coruña went to receive  Handala with traditional Galician bagpipes and Palestinian flags. The actor Quico Cadaval spoke at the event.

Due to the port being private, campaign supporters were unable to enter to see Handala. But a very special reception was organized in front of the port, Fellipe Lopes FFC representative and Rana Hamida, a Palestinian artist and crew onboard, thanked everyone for coming to see our boat Handala.

Rana Hamida said: “meeting Palestinian families from Gaza who are experiencing the current humanitarian crises very closely is unfolding to be an essential part of this mission. For a Palestinian to feel heard and acknowledged in their pain in these times is vital. We share our sorrows, hope and unwavering solidarity and alchemise all that into change on a micro level.”

Handala activists got re-energized with the welcoming and the support received.

“It is time to invest our energy in what needs to be strengthened – and it’s our humanity. This genocide is against humanity and it just happens to be in the form of Palestinians this time round’’ Rana Hamida, Palestinian onboard Handala.



The president of the parliament spoke about his and parliament’s support for the Palestinian cause and against the genocide. He declined having his picture taken with the Handala participants. Politicians, particularly from the right wing, are fearful of being reprimanded by their party due to Zionist pressure.




We met Palestinians and members of the local community on the streets supporting Handala. Some people on the streets smiled at us while others greeted us with encouraging messages.

Handala participants  were received at the city hall palace by the mayor of Santiago de Compostela, Goretti Sanmarting and the members of the municipal corporation from the Bloque Galego and Socialist parties. They manifested their support to the palestinian cause and the end of the genocide as well as to their boycott against israeli corporations and products.

Link of the Handala on the Municipality of Santiago de Compostela: http://www.santiagodecompostela.gal/hoxe/nova.php?lg=gal&id_nova=23473

Rana sang ‘’Bella Ciao’’ in Arabic and the whole Handala team and municipal corporation sang along, waving the palestinian flag over the Plaza do Obradoiro and in front of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The emotion we all felt was waving with the flag, trespassing borders and breaking barriers all the way to Gaza.

The mayor from Oleiros, Angel Garcia Seoane, who represents his own independent group at the Diputación de A Coruna, has led the municipality of Oleiros for the last 45 years. He is a revolutionary leftist at heart, as he declared to Handala activists. He has met revolutionary leaders from all over the world, including Fidel Castro and Yasser Arafat. He has been a passionate supporter of Palestine for decades.

Youssef Sammour, a Palestinian from New Zealand onboard Handala, said: “Palestinians don’t need your sympathy, we need your action. At the very least we need Europe to stop funding and enabling this genocide. The children of Gaza deserve to live in peace and prosperity. It’s been 76 years and there are still talks of a two-state solution, all while illegal settlements are expanding and Palestinians are forced from their homes. This cannot continue, the time to act is now.”

Rana’s song touched everyone’s hearts. We all felt part of the same community that will succede in ending the genocide.

Before singing she said: “Our routes meet at a crossroad. This is when we use our will-power and match our intentions with our actions in various forms. In this event we raise our voices together and move our bodies to merge into a harmony for life, coloured with tears, pain, hope, love and most importantly unity. Sharing Palestinian songs with the Galician people is emotional as I put my voice in service and I hope it awakens the sleeping hearts”.

Activists from Handala and representatives from Rumbo a Gaza, members of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition were received by politicians such as Iria Taiblo from the Bloque Nacionalista Galego, and Bieito Lobeira, member of the National Council and activist joining Handala from A Corruña to Lisbon, and Anxela Gippini from the Coordinadora Galega de solidaridade con Palestina (association for Palestine) that have organized all the events in Galicia at the Diputación de A Coruna, the provincial administrative government.

Fellipe Lopes, FFC Representative, questioned the Spanish government’s role in the ongoing genocide. He recounted the organization’s history and asked for more concrete actions from the Spanish government. ”Spain has to place economic, diplomatic and political sanctions on Israel. Recognizing Palestine as is not enough and does not fully reflect the will of the Galician people. Just words don’t change anything. We need concrete actions”.

Jonatan Michaneck from the Ship to Gaza Sweden spoke about how, when the boat was named Handala and the campaign was named “For the children of Gaza” in 2023, no one could imagine the horror which would occur the following year. Jonatan urged the Parliamentary representatives to continue working for a arms embargo and sanctions against Israel on regional, national and EU levels, and to support Palestine until the right to return is respected.

Photo taken at the Diputación de A Coruna with political members and Handala activists.

Handala activists and representatives from Rumbo a Gaza were received at the Universidade de A Coruña. Professors and students came together to show their support and commitment with the Palestinian cause. They have published a progressive manifesto that they are already putting into practice.

“From the beginning of the massacre of the Paletinian people, the University of A Coruña community denounced the genocide being perpetrated through different actions. The minutes of silence held on campuses since October a one example of the commitment of the University with the Palestinian cause.”

Link: https://www.diariodesantiago.es/galicia/la-universidad-de-a-coruna-aprueba-un-manifiesto-contra-el-genocidio-que-esta-sufriendo-el-pueblo-palestino/

Photo with students, teacher and members of Handala at the Universidade de A Coruna.


The Galician Association for Palestine and Pallasos en Rebeldia (Clowns in Rebellion) organized a cultural event at Parque Nuñez in A Coruna with circus, poetry, music and words of support for Palestine.