GAZA FLOTILLA – MAVI MARMARA
The Mavi-Marmara is a a ferry boat of 4,100 tones and was hired by the Turkish IHH – Charity in early 2010, to be a part of 6 ships “humanitarian” flotilla, organized under the banner of “Gaza Freedom Flotilla’ organized by “Free Gaza Movement”, a left wing anti-Zionist coalition of various groups and the IHH, a semi Jihadi organization (see – IHH Ties) with nothing in common but hatred toward Israel. The flotilla intended to breach the so called “siege on Gaza Strip” and carried hundreds of “peace activists”, some of them known Islamic Jihadists. They was carrying medication (latter it was revealed already expired) , construction materials, as well as Balistic vests, gas masks, night-vision goggles and a large sums of money.
The flotilla was taken over, about 150 km North-West of Gaza, in the Mediterranean, by Israeli navy commando, on 05/31/2010 before dawn. In five of the ships there was no active resistance to the Israeli navy. Unlike the other vessels on the flotilla, that came peacefully, almost hundred of Mavi-Marmara’s activists armed with knives, bats, metal pipes and at list one shot gun, confronted and immediately attacked the first batch of few Israeli soldiers, who boarded the ship from speedboats and helicopters equipped with paintball weapon and pistols. They managed badly injure few soldiers and capture 4 others on the ship before the few left responded with fire to rescue their friends from a hostage taking situation on the ship, killing 9 so called 9 “peace activists (Eight Turkish nationals and a Turkish-American). Security cameras and a short interrogation of the uninvolved crew of the Mavi-Marmara uncovered a premeditate plan to provoke violence and harm Israeli soldiers in order to draw attention of the world media. Some of the activists on the Mavi-Marmara explicitly expressed their will to be “Shahid” – martyr.
The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “the Mavi-Marmara (passenger ship) did not carry any humanitarian aid, except for the passengers’ personal belongings.”
The activists were arrested and detained in Israel for about 24 hours before being deported. Widespread International condemnation of the raid and a UN inquiry followed the Mavi-Marmara Incident. Israeli-Turkey relations went into deep freeze although they were not officially broken off. Israel shifted the few tones of human aid through Ashdod harbor to Gaza but most of it was un-useful for Gaza’s real needs. Israel subsequently eased its blockade on Gaza Strip.
Among the IHH activist on the ship were: the Dutch Palestinian Amin Abu-Rashed, Ismail A. Patel, the Israeli Arab Sheikh Raed Salah; Erdinc Tekir; Osman Atalay and the Israeli Arab Christian PM Haneen Zoabi.
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