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Turkey Warns Israel Against Attacking Second Gaza Solidarity Flotilla, in June 2011


Netanyahu inner cabinet agrees Gaza flotilla must be thwarted

 [ 27/04/2011 - 07:09 PM ]


Netanyahu has ordered his inner cabinet during a meeting Wednesday to thwart a new flotilla scheduled to defy Israel's naval blockade on the Gaza Strip in mid-June.

A statement released by his office on Wednesday said Netanyahu has instructed the Foreign Minister to continue diplomatic efforts geared at stopping the flotilla.

The statement also instructs Israeli occupation forces to prepare to use force to ensure Israel's siege on the Gaza Strip.

Alternatives were mentioned during the Forum of Seven meeting, including the suggestion to allow the Gaza aid flotilla to be searched by Israeli security in the port of Isdood (referred to by Israelis as Ashdod) or another neutral port before landing in Gaza.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the Israeli military ministry and security departments will try to create an intelligence image of the the sea flotilla and its organizers.

Israeli military sources have confirmed that the army is preparing arms to be used against the flotilla.

Israel expects the mission, originally set for late May, will be pushed back to mid-June after presidential elections in Turkey.

Turkey Warns Israel Against Attacking Upcoming Solidarity Flotilla

Wednesday April 27, 2011 10:38 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

As peace activists and human rights groups prepare for sailing to Gaza next month, Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, warned Israel against a new attack against the flotilla, similar to its attack against the Freedom Flotilla in International Waters killing nine Turkish activist and wounding dozens before towing the ship to Ashdod Port.

Israeli Yedioth Aharonoth reported that Davutoglu said during an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald that Israel has the moral and international responsibility to lift the siege on Gaza, adding that the UN-fact finding commission has deemed the siege as illegal.

“Last year, Israel attacked the flotilla while it was 72 miles away from the coast, killed and wounded dozens of activists”, Davutoglu said, “The attack was in International water, the Mediterranean is not the property of any country.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Turkish Humanitarian Relief (IHH), stated that the Turkish ship (Mavi Marmara), which was attacked last year and the army violently intercepted the Freedom Flotilla, will be heading back to Gaza, and that the ship will carry the same name and is set to sail later in this coming May.

Israel has been contacting several European Countries and the United States in an attempt to convince them to discourage their citizens from participating in the flotilla, and to try to prevent the sail.

Davutoglu told the Sydney Morning Herald that his country will not attempt to stop the ships from sailing from its ports, but will advise the passenger on anticipated dangers.

Preparations for the new Flotilla are ongoing in North American, Europe, Asia, South American, Australia and Africa.

Approximately 15 ships, carrying more than a thousand persons, including reporters, human rights workers, technicians and activists, will be sailing simultaneously by the end of this coming May.

In light of the new announcement, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called for a meeting of his Cabinet Wednesday morning to prepare a response.

Netanyahu had previously appealed to the United Nations to prevent the flotilla from trying to enter Gaza, but the UN did not respond.

Gaza Aid Flotilla Prepares For Launch; Israel Plans Response

Wednesday April 27, 2011 09:40 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

Almost one year after a flotilla of humanitarian aid ships was attacked by Israeli naval forces, killing nine activists, a coalition of aid groups from around the world say they are just about ready to launch a new aid flotilla that is twice as big as the one that was attacked last year.

In response to the announcement by the international activists, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for a meeting of his Cabinet Wednesday morning to prepare a response. The Prime Minister had previously appealed to the United Nations to prevent the flotilla from trying to enter Gaza, but the UN did not respond.

The aim of the humanitarian aid convoy is to break the Israeli siege on Gaza which began in 2007 and has resulted in the deaths of over 300 Palestinian patients who were unable to receive needed medical care in Gaza, and were prevented from leaving by Israeli forces. The UN Refugee and Works Agency has found that up to 40% of Gazans are undernourished, with Israel's siege preventing the entry of all but the most basic foodstuffs.

Land and sea missions to get food, medicine, building supplies, school supplies and other necessities into Gaza have taken place on a number of occasions since the siege began. None of them have succeeded in getting all of the aid they carried into Gaza – most were stopped by Israeli forces, and some by Egyptian forces.

Israel has prevented the people of Gaza from rebuilding their homes after the Israeli invasion of 2008-9 left tens of thousands homeless. According to Israeli authorities, building materials are a 'security threat', as are anaesthesia, kidney dialysis machines and a water pumping station donated by France.

After initially planning to set sail in May, organizers of the flotilla say that they now plan to leave Europe sometime after the May 31st anniversary of the Israeli attack on the flotilla last year – probably in mid-June. It will include at least twenty ships, including the one in which nine civilians were killed by Israeli commandoes last year (the Mavi Marmara), 22 organizations and 1500 individuals.

An internal investigation of last year's attack by the Israeli government found that the Israeli cabinet did not pursue alternatives to an armed attack on the flotilla, even though numerous other options were available. However, the investigation did not lead to any prosecutions of Israeli officials for the killing of the nine civilians.

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