|Among previously unpublished elements, Erdogan said Israel's deadly raid last year on a Turkish ship headed for Gaza would have justified going to war: "The attack that took place in international waters did not comply with any international law. In fact, it was grounds for war.***|
The MV Mavi Marmara was purchased in 2010 by the IHH, a Turkish NGO active as a charity organization in more than 115 countries. The group has represented its Turkish language name in English in various ways, "IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation" among them. It has held Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2004, and is endorsed by international figures that include South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire.
Israel's Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an NGO with close ties to the Israeli Defense Forces, along with multiple Israeli governmental officials have alleged that the IHH supports terrorism, has smuggled arms on behalf of terrorist groups, and has links to al-Qaeda and other Jihadist groups. The IHH denies these claims, and Greta Berlin, a director of the Free Gaza Movement, called the claims "utterly scurrilous", characterizing them as an attempt by the Israeli government to discredit the movement.
They are classified in Israel and Holland as a terrorist organization. Much of their money goes to the Union of Good, which is designated as a Specially Designated Terrorist Group by the US Office of Foreign Asset Control and banned by Executive Order 13224. In 2010, the US State Department expressed great concern over the group's links with senior Hamas officials. Turkish legal authorities are investigating allegations that one of the key figures behind the May 2010 Gaza flotilla, Fehmi Bülent Yıldırım, was involved in transferring funds to al-Qaida, the Turkish daily Habertürk reported on June 15, 2012.***
10 peace activists murdered by the Zionists on the Mavi Marmara 2010.
A military source told channel 2 that the Freedom Flotilla would not arrive in Gaza.
There are orders from the highest political echelons of the Israeli government to intercept the convoy and use force if necessary, the source affirmed.
Freedom Flotilla III to set sail to Gaza in few hours
ATHENS, (PIC)-- The Freedom Flotilla III heading to blockaded Gaza will set sail within the next few hours despite Israeli threats to obstruct the humanitarian mission, head of the Miles of Smiles convoy, Dr. Issam Youssef, said Monday.
Youssef said the benevolent activists expressed their commitment to head to the Gaza Strip and work on lifting the siege regardless of the threats and circumstances.
Tunisia’s ex-president Dr. Mohamed al-Moncef al-Marzouki, along with a number of Arab and European activists, arrived in Greece to join the convoy.
Youssef spoke out against Israeli intents to attack the campaigners, calling on the international community to take up its ethical responsibility in protecting the multi-national convoy.
Meanwhile, the European campaign to end the siege on Gaza called, in a press conference held in Gaza Monday, for providing protection to the pro-Palestine volunteers who have joined the Freedom Flotilla III.
It also pushed for taking legal action against Israeli assailants and filing suits with international courts.
Head of the Euro-mid Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdo, called for the need to urgently lift the siege on Gaza and open a waterway from Gaza’s seaport so as to assuage to crises rocking the besieged coastal enclave.
He urged the international community to seriously work on providing the delegation with the needed security shields, pushing for stepping up pressure on the Israeli occupation so as to lighten the noose tightened around Gazans’ necks.