update deskIsrael at War

Turkish group behind ‘Mavi Marmara‘ announces new flotilla

One of the ships, the Anadolu (Anatolia), has a capacity of 5,500 tons.

Palestinians hold flags as they ride a boat during a rally marking the fifth anniversary of the "Mavi Marmara" flotilla at the seaport of Gaza City on May 31, 2015. Credit: Aaed Tayeh/Flash90.
Palestinians hold flags as they ride a boat during a rally marking the fifth anniversary of the "Mavi Marmara" flotilla at the seaport of Gaza City on May 31, 2015. Credit: Aaed Tayeh/Flash90.

The Turkish group behind the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla presented two new vessels on Wednesday, which are intended to take aid directly to Gaza.

Bulent Yildirim, chairman of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), inspected the new ships, purchased for a project titled “International Freedom Flotilla,” Reuters reported on Wednesday.

One of the ships, the Anadolu (Anatolia), has a capacity of 5,500 tons.

The vessels are expected to arrive in Israel’s waters by the second week of April, The Times of Israel reported.

The Mavi Marmara incident became an international cause célèbre after Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship in a six-vessel flotilla sent from Turkey to run Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza, designed to prevent the smuggling of weapons.

Eight Turkish and one Turkish-American activist were killed, for which Israel was blamed. It then emerged that the commandos had been attacked with clubs, knives and metal rods as they descended to the boat on ropes from helicopters, with three soldiers being taken captive.

The incident sparked a diplomatic crisis between Israel and Turkey. Though relations began to improve in 2022, they again deteriorated after Israel retaliated for the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas massacre.

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