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Friday, June 17, 2011

IHH is out of the flotilla (updated)

From YNet:
The Turkey-based IHH group, considered the driving force behind the Gaza flotilla announced Friday its ship the Mavi Marmara will not be taking part in the Strip-bound sail.

IHH Chairman Bolant Yilderim called a press conference and told reporters that "due to technical problems, the Mavi Marmara will not sail this time and we are deeply sorry for that."

The international vessel convoy, which currently consists of 10 ships, will sail to Gaza nonetheless, he added, saying that the fact that the sail will be devoid of the Marmara would negate the notion that the flotilla was an "Islamist idea by Turkey."

The planned flotilla has been hit by setbacks as organizers have been finding it hard to meet their goal in regards to the number of ships participating in the sail; as well as calls from the UN and the Turkish government to cancel or postpone the planned sail.

The IHH, which organized the first Gaza flotilla, is heavily involved in the second sail, alongside the "Free Gaza" Movement" and the "European Campaign." These three are joined by several smaller groups, which are trying to stage a united international front.
No doubt, the flotilla organizers can make up for it because they claim to have 500,000 volunteers who applied to be on the ships.

UPDATE: The flotilla organizers insist that IHH is still in the flotilla, even if the Mavi Marmara is not. (h/t israelinfo)