Israel fails to prevent European participation in Freedom Flotilla 2

Saleh Naami , Tuesday 26 Apr 2011

Turkey allows flotilla to use its port when it sets out in May and warns Israel against repeating last year's fatal attack on the Mavi Marmara

The international campaign to end the siege on Gaza has declared the failure of Israel's diplomatic lobbying of European countries to discourage their citizens from participating in the second Freedom Flotilla heading for the Strip in mid-May.

Campaign spokesperson Anwar Al Gharby said that the diplomatic operation launched by Israeli President Shimon Peres in Britain, France and Italy failed miserably.

In an interview with Al Aqsa TV, Gharby said that European leaders told Peres that organising and participating in the flotilla are “legal and cannot be prevented.”

Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Turkey’s minister of foreign affairs, Ahmet Davutoğlu, warned Israel against intervening in the flotilla, calling on the state not to repeat the Mavi Marmara scenario.

The Israeli navy attacked the Turkish-led Mavi Marmara flotilla last May. The incident damaged relations between the two countries.

The military action killed nine reportedly unarmed Turkish activists aboard the ship.

Davutoğlu added that the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip is Israel’s responsibility, pointing out that the United Nations considers it to be in breach of international law, the daily reported.

Turkey will not prevent the flotilla from using its port to set out on its journey, Davutoğlu noted, but will caution its participants of the dangers this journey may hold.

The daily indicated that Israel seemed greatly concerned of the campaign’s announcement that the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara will be participating in the fleet heading for Gaza.

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