The US State Department is examining the possibility of adding the Turkish charitable organization IHH, which organized the Gaza-bound flotilla on which nine activists were killed, to its list of terrorist organizations, the Fox News television network reported on Thursday.
"I believe we are looking at the IHH, but it's a long process to designate something a foreign terrorist organization and ...there's nothing to announce on that," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said during a press briefing. Other officials in the administration are opposed to such a move.
About a month ago, a group of senior senators sent a letter to US President Barack Obama with a demand that he address Turkish "humanitarian aid fund" and its connection with Hamas and the Turkish government. This was made alongside a demand that he continue supporting Israel.
The senators charged that the IHH was a member of a group of Muslim charitable organizations that the US Treasury department has deemed a terrorist organization, nothing that the group was formed by Hamas and supports it regularly.
Based on this information, the senators asked Obama to include the IHH on the list of terrorist organizations following an investigation by the intelligence community, the State Department, and the Treasury Department.
In the days following the flotilla raid, Israel had already tied IHH to terrorist activities. The backgrounds of a number of the flotilla participants linking them to terrorist activities were published. Turkish media also revealed that three of the four Turkish citizens killed during the raid had declared prior to their deaths their desire to become martyrs.
Another report in Holland claimed that a Dutch activist arrested by the IDF is suspected of being a prominent Hamas activist.
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