Turkey Marks Flotilla Date, as Another is Planned
A major rally will be held in Istanbul Thursday, marking the second anniversary of the sailing of the 2010 flotilla to Gaza – as radical lefists in Europe and Israel plan yet another flotilla. Tens of thousands are expected to commemorate the death of nine radicals on the Mavi Marmara, who were killed after they tried to attack and kill IDF soldiers who had legally boarded the ship as it was on its way to illegally dock in Gaza.
The rally comes days after a Turkish court handed down indictments against former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and other senior officers. The indictment says that Ashkenazi, as head of the IDF, was responsible for the deaths of the Marmara group, who were killed by IDF soldiers as the latter attempted to defend themselves in a “lynch action” by the Turkish group. If convicted, Ashkenazi and the five other officers could be sentenced to a collective punishment of as many as 18,000 years in prison.
In honor of the event, a Turkish news agency on Thursday released formerly unseen footage of the events on the Marmara. The footage shows injured and dead passengers on the ship in the aftermath of the attempted lynch against IDF soldiers. After the incident in 2010, Israel released footage of the attack itself, in which the radicals on the Marmara are clearly seen trying to kill IDF soldiers.
Meanwhile, radical groups are busy organizing another flotilla aimed at breaking Israel's sea blockage of Gaza. Among those involved are Israelis who belong to radical leftist groups. Dror Feiler, a former Israeli who participated in the 2010 flotilla, told Channel Two that “as long as the illegal blockade that punishes Gaza residents collectively remains in place, we will continue to try and break it.”
He added that the purpose of the flotilla was not to cause riots and prompt Israeli soldiers to use force in order to portray those on flotilla ships as victims. “The most important thing for us is to explain to the world that the blockade of Gaza does not help anyone, including Israel. There is nothing in removing the blockade that would endanger Israel. All we want is for Gaza residents to be able to trade freely,” he said.
A UN sponsored committee has determined that Israel's blockade of Gaza is legal.