The Turkish IHH organization, which was responsible for the 2010 flotilla aimed at breaking the naval blockade on Gaza, recently hosted a delegation aboard the Mavi Marmara ship, including one elected Arab Israeli Member of Knesset.
The Mavi Marmara is currently docked in Istanbul, where it arrived in December of 2010 after the incident during the flotilla, in which IDF soldiers who were forced to board the ship when it refused orders to change course and head towards the Ashdod Port, were attacked by the IHH activists on board with clubs and knives. The soldiers had no choice but to open fire, leaving nine Turks dead.
According to the Palestinian Authority-based news agency WAFA, the IHH hosted a delegation from the PA for a post-Ramadan “iftar” dinner last Friday. Attendees included the PA’s Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karaka, Qadura Fares who heads the Palestinian Prisoners Club, the Mufti of Jerusalem and MK Mohammad Barakeh, chair of the Hadash party.
The dinner was also attended by family members of the Marmara victims, reported WAFA. Bulent Yildirim, chairman of the IHH, reportedly said during the dinner that Turkey will continue “to assist the Palestinian people.”
The presence of Barakeh comes as no surprise, as Arab MKs, despite serving in Israel’s parliament, often act against the state and side with PA Arabs. One Arab MK, Hanin Zoabi, was on the Marmara ship when the activists on board attacked the soldiers. A video clip disseminated after the incident indicates that Zoabi knew of the planned attack on the IDF soldiers by the Turks on board in advance.
Former MK Azmi Bishara fled Israel after it was discovered that he provided information to the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terror organization.
Under pressure from U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologized in March to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the deaths of nine Turks in the 2010 flotilla.
Netanyahu, in addition to the apology, agreed to compensate the families of the nine Turks, while Erdogan promised to cancel the legal proceedings his country launched against IDF officials.
It recently appeared as though the talks between the sides had been progressing, but Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said several weeks ago that his country will not be satisfied with Israel simply paying compensation to the Marmara victims.
The Jewish state, he said, must acknowledge that the money it is paying to the victims is a result of its committing a wrongful act.
One of the flotilla participants from the Mavi Marmara has already indicated he would give all the compensation money he receives to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists.