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Gaza Leader Boards IHH Flotilla Ship in Turkey, Lauds ‘Martyrs’

Haniyeh’s first diplomatic tour leaves no doubts on his aims as he boards the IHH ship whose terror activists attacked IDF soldiers.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/2/2012, 6:25 PM

Haniyeh’s first diplomatic tour leaves no doubts on his aims as he boards the IHH ship whose terror activists attacked IDF soldiers.

Hamas’ Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh’s first diplomatic tour leaves no doubts on his aims as he boarded on Monday the docked IHH ship whose terror activists attacked IDF soldiers in May 2009.

He called the IHH terrorists who died in the flotilla clash “martyrs”, telling IHH officials and supporters, "Your martyrs are our martyrs, your blood is our blood, your wounds are our wounds.

"Israel, the invader, you may have stopped the Mavi Marmara from reaching Gaza but Gaza is now meeting the Mavi Marmara." He cleared up any rthoguhts that Hamas is becoming diplomatic at the cost of violence and welcomed calls from crowds, "The resistance continues.”

The IDF killed nine Turks who were on the IHH-terror linked crew on the Mavi Marmara that attacked and tried to murder IDF Navy commandoes, whose ship was one of six boats that tried to break the Israeli embargo against the smuggling of weapons and terrorists into Gaza.

A United Nations committee investigation last year confirmed that Israel acted legally. The confrontation on the high seas burst apart at the seams the already fragile relations between Israel and Turkey, who were close friends until the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign against the  Hamas terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sniffed the diplomatic winds at the time, condemned Israel and allied himself with Iran and Syria. He since has praised Hamas, saying it is not a terrorist group although outlawed as such by the United States. He told  Haniyeh on Sunday that the Palestinian Authority cannot achieve a peace agreement with Israel unless Hamas is included.

Since Israel agreed last October to release more than 1,000 terrorists and prisoners for the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit from his captors in Gaza, Hamas has tried to raise its status in the international community.

Haniyeh's diplomatic tour imitates that of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who embarked on international junkets immediately after taking over from the deceased Yasser Arafat.

Abbas has carefully built up international support that allowed him to break Palestinian Authority  commitments in the Oslo Accords and continue incitement of terror against Israel while negating negotiations in favor of unilateral recognition by the United Nations.