'Mavi Marmara victim to donate money to Hamas'

Official says flotilla passenger's promise to give compensation money to terror group shows true nature of those on ship.

mavi marmara flotilla_311 reuters (photo credit: Osman Orsal / Reuters)
mavi marmara flotilla_311 reuters
(photo credit: Osman Orsal / Reuters)
The declaration by a “victim” of the Mavi Marmara that he will donate Israeli compensation money to Hamas and Islamic Jihad just shows the world what type of people were on the ship, a government official said Wednesday.
The official was responding to a report in the Hurriyet Daily News that one of the “victims” of the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, “activist” Mehmet Tunc, said he would not touch even “one Turkish Lira” of the money and instead donate it to the two terror organizations.
“This just shows to all those who thought the people on the ship were peace and human rights activists that they were hard-core Islamists supportive of Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” he said.
Another government official said that according to the framework of the compensation agreement that was discussed over the last two years with the Turks, Israeli compensation payments will not be paid directly to the families of the nine Turks killed on the ship that tried to break the blockade of Gaza, but rather to a fund set up by the Turkish government.
“We are not paying the compensation to anyone directly,” he said.
National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror and Joseph Ciechanover, Israel’s representative to the UN Palmer Commission which investigated the Mavi Marmara incident, are scheduled to travel to Turkey next Thursday to begin discussions on the amount of compensation to be paid.
The Turkish team will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc and undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Feridun Sinirlioglu, a former ambassador to Israel.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Arınc met Tuesday night with the families of those killed on the ship. The Hurriyet reported that the purpose of the meeting was to convince the families to withdraw legal proceedings they have started against IDF soldiers.
According to the paper, once the issue of compensation is settled, the two countries will begin the process of appointing ambassadors, with the goal of exchanging ambassadors by the end of June.
Israeli diplomatic officials would not confirm the timeline, saying the appointment of a new ambassador takes time, and that no internal Foreign Ministry tender has yet been issued for the job of Israel’s next envoy to Ankara.