Amal-Women’s-Boat-to-Gaza-Loses-Hope Amal, one of the boats sailing to Gaza as part of the Women’s Boat to Gaza team, has been anchored and will not continue on its journey to break the siege on Gaza, activists have announced yesterday.

In Barcelona, Spain, it broke down and a replacement had to be bought in. A new boat was then sent to Messina, Italy.

The new boat sailed from Messina to Palermo last week but “the delays meant that the crew we had lined up for the last part of the voyage were no longer available”, a statement on the activists’ website said.

“It was a Herculean task to get Amal-Hope II this far, but we just weren’t able to make it happen in time,” Eva Manly, a retired documentary maker from Canada, who was also due to be on the boat, said.

“We are all terribly disappointed that we won’t have an opportunity to meet our Palestinian sisters in Gaza in person this year. But now we must put all our energy towards ensuring that Zaytouna-Oliva is successful in breaking this illegal blockade,” Gerd von der Lippe, an athlete and professor from Norway who was also set to be on the boat, said.

Twelve women were due to head to Gaza aboard Amal.

The Zaytouna-Oliva, which was due to make the journey alongside Amal, has continued its journey across the Mediterranean Sea and is on course to arrive in the port of Gaza later this week