3 flotilla fatalities 'dreamt of martyrdom'
Before boarding the Marmara, Ali Khaider Benginin told his family he dreamt of becoming a shahid. Turkish press reports two other slain flotilla participants expressed similar wish. A Dutch activist arrested on flotilla suspected of ties with Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood
The Gaza flotilla organizers insist that all activists killed on board the Marmara ship were innocent peace activists. However, new reports reveal a completely different picture.
Media reports in Ankara on Wednesday revealed that three out of the four Turkish citizens that were killed during the raid declared their wishes to become shahids (martyrs). Another Dutch report claimed a Dutch activist, who was arrested by the IDF is suspected of being a senior Hamas operative.
In an interview with Turkish newspaper Haber, the family members of Ali Khaider Benginin (39), resident of east Turkey's Kurdistan region, revealed their relative's true intentions.
"I am going to be a shahid; I dreamt I will become a shahid – I saw in a dream that I will be killed," Benginin told his family before leaving for the sail.
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According to the report, beniginin, who graduated from al-Azhar University in Cairo, served for the past two years as the chairman of a foundation for rights and freedom in education and culture. His family noted that he had spoken in the past about his dream to become a shahid in Gaza.
Another Turkish citizen killed during the raid, Ali Akhbar Iritilmis (55), a father of four from Ankara, was active in the IHH organization, which led the naval convoy to Gaza. "He was devoted to this activity, and always dreamt about becoming a shahid," said his close friend Mehmet Faruq Cheber.
Anadolu News Agency reported that the third activist killed on boards the Marmara, Ibrahim Bilgen (61), an engineer and father of six, was active in the Islamic party in southern Turkey. "He was a role model to all of us; a true philanthropist. Therefore, it suited him to die a shahid's death. Allah gave him the death he wanted," said Ibrahim's brother, Nuri Mergen.
The fourth slain activist, Muharram Kuchak, was also a volunteer with the IHH.
The three Turkish "shahids," as it turns out, were not alone. Holland-based Teltarif newspaper reported Wednesday morning that Amin Abou Rashed, 43, and Anne de Jong, 29, are probably the only two Dutch citizens that were arrested among the flotilla participants.
The newspaper's investigation revealed incriminating details from Abou Rashed's past; intelligence sources claimed he is the local Hamas leader, while the Muslim Brotherhood's website identified him as one of the organizers of the naval convoy.
According to Teltarif's report, Dutch intelligence services have been following Abou Rashed's activities for a long time. He worked, among other places, with al- Aqsa Foundation, suspected of acting under the guise of a charity, while funneling its donations to Hamas.