Italian lawmakers: Put IHH on EU terrorist list

German NGO also seeking Turkish group’s inclusion.

FIAMMA NIRENSTEIN 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
BERLIN – A group of lawmakers in Italy’s Chamber of Deputies are pushing for the Turkish IHH relief organization to be added to the European Union’s list of terrorist entities, Sharon Nizza, a spokeswoman for Italian legislator Fiamma Nirenstein, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“The Islamic fundamentalist nature of IHH has been documented by numerous declarations praising martyrdom and Israel’s destruction,” said Nirenstein, a member of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party who is spearheading the effort.
RELATED:Austrian Jewish community calls for gov’t to ban IHH branchUS may list Turkish IHH as terror group
Citing the EU’s definition of terrorism as “participation in the activities of a terrorist group, including by funding its activities or supplying material resources,” Nirenstein said in a statement that the IHH sponsors terrorism, according to the EU’s criteria.
Nirenstein is vice president of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Chamber of Deputies and chairs its committee for inquiry into anti-Semitism.
“Several investigations and reports testify to the involvement of IHH in global terrorism, and many videos and documents attest to its jihadist attitude... the Turkish organization IHH (Insani Yardim Vafki) [is] one of the main promoters of the Mavi Marmara and responsible for its violent implications.”
The Turkish-sponsored vessel, whose passengers included radical Islamists, attempted along with five other ships to break the blockade of Gaza on May 31. Israel Navy commandos seized the ships. Activists on the Mavi Marmaraattacked the commandos and nine Turkish men were killed.
People of Freedom deputies Nirenstein, Enrico Pianetta, Guglielmo Picchi, Antonio Martino and Gennaro Malgieri last week submitted their parliamentary question to outlaw IHH within the EU to the Italian Foreign Ministry.
A sixth deputy, Massimo Polledri from the Northern League, also supported the parliamentary initiative. The Northern League is part of the governing coalition along with the People of Freedom party.
Nizza, the spokeswoman for Nirenstein, told the Post the ministry could provide an answer to the inquiry on Thursday or next week.
According to the text of the parliamentary initiative, IHH has ties to Hamas and the Union of Good, an organization that is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and supports Hamas. The US Treasury has designated the Union of Good a financial supporter of terrorism.
“Germany has recently banned IHH, and in the USA, a bipartisan group of senators appealed to President Obama with a request to enter the IHH in the US list of terrorist organizations,” the legislative query states.
Meanwhile, the Coordinating Council of German Nongovernmental Organizations against Anti-Semitism called on the Merkel government and Bundestag lawmakers to move to place IHH on the EU list of terrorist organizations, because “like Hamas the IHH is an anti- Semitic organization that promotes terrorism.”
In a separate statement earlier this month, the Coordinating Council slammed the Bundestag for its “one-sided motion” singling out Israel for blame because of its seizure of the Gaza flotilla on May 31, which “fails to mention Hamas anti-Semitic agitation, their anti-democratic rule in Gaza and the connections between Turkish entities and the Hamas terrorist organization.”