Israel holds captured flotilla ships

Foreign Ministry wants promise vessels won't run blockade again.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 20, 2010 19:55
1 minute read.
THE ‘MAVI Marmara’, as it set sail from Turkey. Be

Ship 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Israel is seeking written assurances from Turkey that the three IHH ships which it has in its possession, captured during the May 31 Gaza-bound flotilla incident, will not be used for another blockade-running attempt before it agrees to send them back to Turkey, reported Turkish daily Hurriyet Tuesday.

The IHH, which organized the ships of the flotilla, is demanding that Israel provide tug boats to tow the ships back to Turkey, according to Hurriyet. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has yet to respond to the complaint IHH lodged at the Embassy in Tel Aviv.

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“Israel has long been dragging its feet and made public that it will not give the ships back unless the commission inquiry is concluded. I think the process will last four or five months,” said Salih Bilici of the IHH.

“We are only an NGO and how influential can we be? Turkey at every occasion demands the return of the vessels,” Bilici told Hurriyet.

Hurriyet reported that in past cases, Israel has required assurances only from the organizers which send ships to Gaza, but this time Israel is asking for assurances from Turkey


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