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      Italian MPs Call to Ban IHH in Europe

      MPs in Rome call to consider an EU ban on the Turkish group IHH, which was behind the violent clash aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 7/29/2010, 7:14 PM / Last Update: 7/29/2010, 9:32 PM

      Six Italian Members of Parliament have called to consider banning the IHH, the Turkish pro-terrorist group whose activists clashed with IDF soldiers aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla in late May. Germany has already banned the group, and 87 United States Senators have signed a call to classify it as a terrorist organization in their country.

      "The Islamic fundamentalist nature of IHH has been documented by numerous declarations praising martyrdom and Israel's destruction,” said MPs Fiamma Nirenstein, Enrico Pianetta, Guglielmo Picchi, Antonio Martino, Gennaro Malgieri, and Massimo Polledri in an official parliamentary question.

      Several such declarations were made shortly before the ship Mavi Marmara, part of a larger Gaza-bound flotilla, set sail, they continued. IHH members aboard the Marmara “told reporters before departing that their purpose was 'religious martyrdom,'” they noted.

      The MPs pointed out that IHH is a member of the “Union of Good,” a Saudi Arabia-based umbrella group for Islamic organizations that is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Union of Good funnels money to Hamas; it has been banned by Israel and designated as supporting terrorism by the United States.

      The Turkish government itself was formerly concerned over IHH, they said, and investigated the group in the late 1990s over its links with Al-Qaeda. The group was investigated in the U.S. for alleged involvement in an attempted terrorist attack in Los Angeles, and in France for funding Islamic terrorist groups.

      The MPs concluded by asking, “We would like to know the following: What is the position of the Italian government regarding the possibility of including the NGO known as the IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) in the EU list of terrorist organizations and whether or not it intends to push an action to discuss it.”