The Turkish terror group IHH is planning a redux of the 2010 “freedom flotilla” to Gaza that left 10 Turkish citizens dead.
The original flotilla planned to break Israel’s “siege” of the Gaza coast (i.e. Israel’s naval blockade, intended to prevent military shipments from reaching Hamas and other terror groups). Israel warned that the boats would not be allowed to approach the blockaded zone, but when Israeli Navy Seals stopped and boarded the Mavi Marmara, the lead vessel in the flotilla, the peaceful activists tried to lynch the IDF soldiers with metal bars, fists, kicks and even guns.
Ten terrorists died as a result of the altercation, and Turkey downgraded relations with Israel immediately after the incident.
Today, four years later, the group says it has put wheels in motion to form a second flotilla for Gaza. IHH chairman Bülent Yildrim said last week that the group would set sail as soon as it had cleared bureaucratic red-tape with the Turkish government. He also said the Turkish Navy has agreed to escort the ships to Gaza. Israeli officials did not respond to the news item, but it is noteworthy that IHH has threatened several times to organise new flotillas since the Mavi Marmara altercation.
IHH has long been designated a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and many Western powers. According to NGO Monitor, Turkish authorities investigated the group in 1997 after receiving info that senior IHH figures had purchased weapons from Islamic radicals. The monitoring group said a police raid on the IHH headquarters in Istanbul found weapons, explosives, and instructions for making improvised explosive devices.
Later, it is believed the group provided material assistance to Hamas during the later group’s murderous bus bombing campaign a decade ago, and some American officials believe the group was planning a bomb attack on Los Angeles International Airport.
More recently, IHH chief humanitarian displayed his admiration and respect for members of all religious faith groups, saying Turkish Jews could easily pay the ultimate price for Israel’s actions.
“Israel’s spoiled attitude could spell the end for Jewish communities living in Turkey. Otherwise more bad things will happen,” said IHH Chairman Bülent Yildrrims.
In a separate statement, MK Şamil Tayyar, a member of parliament representing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP party, said he “Hope(s) your race disappears under many more new Hitlers.”