Turkish relief organization, IHH (Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, or Insani Yardim Vakfi), is making major preparations to participate in the coming “Freedom Flotilla”. The aim is to reach Gaza’s fishermens’ wharf by late May.
According to the organizers’ plans, the Freedom Flotilla will include several cargo ships, and perhaps five passenger ships with up to 600 high-profile international personalities, activists, and journalists aboard.
Some of the ships will reportedly be flying the Turkish flag.
This means that any Israeli attack on those ships would be considered tantamount to an attack upon Tur IHH, the Turkish NGO, was founded in 1995, and has worked in Bosnia, Chechenya, Haiti. It is also, apparently, functioning in the West Bank. It was reportedly very supportive of the efforts to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza via Egypt’s Rafah crossing at the beginning of this year.
IHH says its basic objective is to assist those who are “distressed, victimized by war, disaster, etc, wounded, disabled, homeless and subjected to famine, oppressed”, and “to deliver humanitarian aid to all people and take necessary steps to prevent any violations against their basic rights and liberties”. See their website here.
IHH is calling this attempt “Noah’s Ark”.
What they are up against is a formally-declared Israeli naval blockade of Gaza’s maritime space (as defined in the map attached to the Oslo Accords, which is posted on the website of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs here):
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