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Mavi Marmara. Back for a second round?
Photo: Reuters
IHH may not take part in flotilla
Turkish organization announces it will make final decision by end of the week, but other groups slated to take part in Gaza sail determined to go

The Turkish IHH organization is rethinking the Gaza-bound flotilla set to depart later this month while other participating groups remain determined to set sail as planned.

 

On Wednesday, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported that the IHH is considering canceling the flotilla following developments in the region, particularly in Syria. "We think we can achieve our goals regardless of whether we send the Marmara ship to Gaza or not. We shall make a final decision by the end of the week," the IHH spokesman said.

 

 

IHH senior official Hussein Uruç confirmed the report saying the group is rethinking the departure date but that preparations are still underway. "Tomorrow we shall make a final decision on the matter, but right now there is still one date and there are no problems with the flotilla," he said.

 

Israeli expat Dror Feiler, who heads the Gaza movement in Sweden, stressed that despite the IHH's statements the other organizations participating in the flotilla have no intention of postponing it. "The IHH have their own reasons, internal reasons. It won't stop us from going. We're going because we think it's important, not because of any organization," he told Ynet.

Preparations still underway

 

He stressed that the members of the IHH, a Muslim organization which Israel considers a terrorist group, continues to support the flotilla and wish to make the journey to Gaza. "We shall be sorry if they can’t go, but it doesn’t pose a threat to the flotilla.

 

"Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Thus far Israel has claimed that the Turks are terrorists. What will they say now – that the Swedes, Danes, Americans and all the world's nations are all terrorists?"

 

Feiler, who took part in the previous flotilla, said that the IHH had shared its problems with the other groups meant to take part in the sail.

 

"We knew there were question marks, we've been working together for more than a year and a half, we count on each other. We may come from countries with different cultures but we're all working toward the same goal. We won't give up."

 

Others in the Free Gaza movement were however surprised to hear of the IHH's announcement. Adam Shapiro said: "This is news to me. I shall talk to Hussein and get an update," he told Ynet. "We still don't know what we'll do if they decide not to participate."

 

 

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