The Turkish Aid Boat Mavi Marmara Will Not Sail to Gaza for Technical Reasons

PNN – Palestine News Network –  17.06.11 – 14:04

Ghassan Bannoura – PNN & Agencies – Mavi Marmara, the Turkish aid ship attacked by Israel last year, will not take part in the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla 2, according to mission organizers, reported AFP.

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Mavi Marmara sailing to Gaza last year

IHH (the Humanitarian Relief Foundation), organizers of Mavi Marmara, announced on Friday that the reason for the decision is technical problems facing the boat. IHH expressed an apology, noting that the Freedom Flotilla 2 mission is still on and will set sail to Gaza from a number of EU countries later this month.

In an interview with PNN earlier in this week, Izat Shaheen, organizer from the Turkish IHH, said, “This boat was damaged by the Israelis and they held Mavi Marmara in Ashdod, so it was not easy to complete the repair of Mavi Marmara. We are doing our best to reach this flotilla, but if we can’t reach this flotilla certainly we’ll organize new ones to continue until the end.”

“I want to clarify that the flotilla 2 is on the way… and will sail in the last week of June,” said Shaheen. “We must differentiate between the whole flotilla and the Turkish part of Mavi Marmara It is still under preparation. I hope we’ll complete the technical preparations. Because they damaged the boat it took a long time to repair and will need more time.”

On May 31, 2010 the Israeli Navy attacked Mavi Marmara as it was sailing to Gaza in international waters, killing 9 Turkish aid workers and injuring 54 on board. Last year’s attack was widely condemned by the international community and caused a rift in relations between Turkey and Israel, its main weapon supplier.

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