Mavi Marmara to miss new Gaza mission

2011-06-17 22:18
Istanbul - A Turkish boat that became an international symbol of anti-Israeli activism has dropped out of a Gaza-bound flotilla that plans to set sail for the Palestinian territory at the end of this month, organisers said on Friday.

The withdrawal of the Mavi Marmara ferry from the convoy that aims to break Israel's sea blockade of the Gaza Strip removes a potential flashpoint for confrontation. Last year, nine activists died in a botched Israeli commando operation on the Turkish ship during a similar flotilla, with each side accusing the other of starting the violence.

Israel has warned that it will not allow any more ships to break its naval blockade, and said without providing details that security forces have adopted new tactics since last years' raid in an effort to limit casualties.

IHH, the Islamic aid group in Turkey that refitted the Mavi Marmara after Israel returned it following the raid, said technical problems prevented it from joining 10 other ships that will head for Gaza from European ports on June 25. The original plan was to sail around the first anniversary of the Israeli raid before dawn on May 31 2010.

"We did not want the flotilla to be postponed again," IHH president Bulent Yildirim said. "When we fix the Mavi Marmara, our journey will continue. I hope it will not take a long time."

Organisers said their decision to exclude the Turkish boat was not a response to appeals from any government. Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu condemned the Israeli blockade and said the Mavi Marmara had the right to sail, but urged activists "to act more carefully and not take steps that could be exploited" by Israel.

Apology, compensation

He also said non-governmental groups should "take into account" that Egypt's new military rulers had opened Gaza's main gateway to the world, the Rafah terminal, thereby ending a four-year blockade of Gaza that was imposed in co-ordination with Israel.

Turkey demands that Israel apologise and pay compensation for last year's flotilla raid, but the possibility of a diplomatic confrontation over a second flotilla could divert Turkey's focus on problems with neighbouring Syria. The Turkish government is sheltering nearly 10 000 Syrians who have fled across the border to escape a crackdown on an uprising against President Bashar Assad.

Yildirim said pro-Palestinian activists from his group would board other ships in the Gaza-bound flotilla, which includes an American boat, a 40-member Canadian ship and a cargo vessel organised by activists from Greece, Sweden and Norway.

Some of the boats are expected to depart from Greece, and Yildirim acknowledged that Greece's financial problems and widespread anger there over tough new austerity measures had posed a challenge to flotilla preparations.

"There are some problems and crises in European countries, so it might be delayed a few days," he said.

- AP
Read more on:    turkey  |  gaza  |  israel  |  gaza ship raid
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Most expensive holiday ever?

Fancy taking a year off from work and travelling around the world? All you need is £220 000!

 
 

I love summer.24

The most epic YouTube mashup of 2014
Summer Survey!
Stay in shape this summer
Ultimate fails compilation 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where you could react and say something and then have to pick up the pieces. Take your time before...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.