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Officials in Ankara are refusing Tel Aviv’s request to halt an impending flotilla of ships from Turkey on the anniversary of last year’s assault on Israel’s sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
As with the flotilla last year, when nine people died in the confrontation, an attempt is expected to be made by the Turkey-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief to break Israel’s blockade of the Palestinians in the region.
Israel claims the flotilla organizers are part of group of Muslim charities called Union of Good, which was created by Hamas.
The U.S. Treasury Department has designated both the foundation and Hamas has terrorist organizations.
Relations between Israel and Turkey went into a tailspin when Israel’s Shayetet 13 naval commandos on May 31, 2010, halted a Turkish flotilla and forcibly boarded the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara.
The flotilla was attempting to deliver what the Turks said were humanitarian goods in an effort to break the sea blockade the Israelis had imposed against the Gaza Strip.
Israel was trying to halt the Free Gaza Movement’s ninth attempt to break its naval blockade. Knowing of the planned flotilla ahead of time, Israel had offered to inspect the cargo at the Port of Ashdod and then deliver non-blockaded goods through land crossings. This suggestion was turned down.
The battle between the commandos and passengers that ensued on the Mavi Marmara resulted in the death of eight Turkish nationals and a Turkish-American citizen.
Activists on the ships were arrested and detained in Israel before being deported.
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