'Freedom Flotilla II' set to sail for Gaza from Turkey
By HERB KEINON, JPOST.COM STAFF
Ankara gives flotilla green light and protection of Turkish Navy according to organizer, IHH, the same group behind the 2010 ,Mavi Marmara, flotilla.
Mavi Marmara Photo: Stringer Turkey / Reuters
Amid Israel's Operation Protective Edge to stop Hamas rocket fire from Gaza, a "Freedom Flotilla" was being organized in Turkey to bring humanitarian aid to the Hamas controlled Palestinian coastal enclave.
The flotilla being organized, called the "Freedom Flotilla II," is the successor of the Mavi Marmara flotilla that sought to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010.
The new flotilla is being organized by the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief" (Insani Yardim Vakfi), otherwise known as the IHH, the same organization behind the Mavi Marmara ship, which Israel Navy commandos boarded, killing nine aboard who attacked them.
Israel and the US have both labelled the IHH a terrorist organization.
IHH chairman Bulent Yildrim told local Turkish media last week that the activists will set sail as they had received permission from the authorities in Ankara and that the Turkish Navy will provide protection.
Diplomatic officials said Jerusalem was following the reports carefully, but stressed that it was not clear whether the flotilla would ultimately set sail.
So far there has only been a declaration of intent, with no firm date set, one official said.