Flotilla passengers were in Jordan ‘Nakba’ protest

Israel working to amp up media exposure on organizations behind flotillas; 'Mavi Marmara' members were part of violent anti-Israel rallies.

The 'Mavi Marmara' 311 (R) (photo credit: Reuters/Emrah Dalkaya)
The 'Mavi Marmara' 311 (R)
(photo credit: Reuters/Emrah Dalkaya)
As the IDF continues preparing to forcefully stop a protest flotilla planning to sail to the Gaza Strip in late June, Israel is intensifying its media campaign to expose what it believes is the true face of the organizations behind the initiative.
On Monday, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center revealed in a new report that a group of Turkish Islamic activists who are members of the IHH organization and were aboard the Mavi Marmara passenger ship last year as it was stopped by the Israel Navy on its way to Gaza, participated in a violent anti-Israel demonstration in Jordan earlier this month on the Palestinian “Nakba Day.”
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According to the report, the bus carrying the delegation of 28 Turkish activists was detained in Syria as it made its way to Jordan, since some of the members had Israeli stamps in their passports, a result of their deportation from Israel following last year’s flotilla.
The delegation eventually arrived at the Israeli-Jordanian border opposite Jericho and began marching toward the fence while violently clashing with Jordanian security forces. Several members of the delegation were injured and treated in hospitals in Jordan before being ordered to return to Turkey.
During the demonstration in Jordan, the activists carried a banner with pictures of the nine men killed by commandos from the Israel Navy’s Flotilla 13 aboard the Mavi Marmara last May. Israel has provided video evidence that the commandos were attacked by the passengers, many of whom were mercenaries paid to attack the soldiers.
“The delegation’s decision to participate in the demonstrations in Jordan was not spontaneous but is part of a larger campaign by radical Islamic elements from groups like IHH to try and breach Israel’s borders whether by land, air or sea,” the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report concluded.
Due to the size of the flotilla planned for next month, which organizers hope will reach 15 ships, the navy has enlisted all of its Flotilla 13 commandos from the reserves and has conducted special training sessions in recent weeks in coordination with the IDF’s Counter-Terrorism School.
If the government decides to stop the flotilla, the commandos will board the ships either by sea or air, similar to the operation that stopped the Mavi Marmara last year.
The commandos’ goal will be to complete the operation without casualties on either side, but they have received updated rules of engagement and will work quickly when boarding the ships to quell the violence. The IDF Operations Directorate recently drafted new operational guidelines for flotilla operations that involve coordination between various security organizations and government ministries. The new guidelines regulate the way the military and police are to handle the detainees as well as their belongings after intercepting a flotilla.