New Flotilla Announced as Radical Disclosures Grow
Jun 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm
The Turkish group IHH announced Wednesday that it will send another flotilla to Gaza comprised of six ships during the second half of July. On the same day, Israel added IHH to its terrorist watch list.
IHH led last month's flotilla, which ended violently when a group of radical Islamists on the ship Mavi Marmara attacked Israeli commandos with clubs, knives and other weapons as the soldiers tried to enforce the blockade on the Hamas government in Gaza. Nine people died on the ship, though there were no casualties on six other ships that offered no resistance.
An IHH press conference was held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, organized by Richard Howitt, a British member of the Parliament. During the conference, Howitt encouraged the EU to back the new flotilla initiative, stating:
"If this terrible (May 31) tragedy tips the balance so that the international community finally insists on full and unhindered humanitarian access to Gaza, then some good can still come out of it. But only one reason should stop this new convoy from safely arriving in Gaza and that's an end to the blockade itself."
Kahel announced that ECESG is planning "Freedom Flotilla 2."
"We have six boats which are ready to leave Europe, [and] we are hoping to head off next month, in the last half of July," he said.
Also participating in ECESG's second flotilla is the Free Gaza Movement (FGM), which lead the May flotilla along with IHH. Following the May 31st Mavi Marmara incident, FGM stated that it was "proud" and "honored" to have worked with IHH, and declared on its website that "We Are All IHH."
It is unclear whether ECESG and IHH are jointly planning the July convoy.
Earlier this month, representatives from all five organizers of the freedom flotilla held a meeting at the headquarters of IHH in Istanbul, where they vowed to continue their actions until Israel lift's its blockade on Gaza.
Since IHH's flotilla last month to Gaza, evidence continues to emerge about how the Hamas-linked group planned for a violent confrontation with Israel in advance, under the leadership of IHH head Bulent Yildirim.
In an interview originally released by The Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), Hussein Urush, senior IHH member and an organizer of the flotilla told Al-Jazeera TV:
"The passengers aboard the ship were all prepared for this outcome. They all wanted to become martyrs. They were prepared. Our goal was to reach Gaza or die without achieving that" [Emphasis added].
Click here for ITIC's comprehensive report on IHH's preparations for martyrdom.