Israel brands Turkish charity 'terrorist organisation': TV
Israel considers the Turkish Muslim charity IHH involved in organising a flotilla of aid ships to Gaza last month as a "terrorist organisation," public television said Wednesday.
IHH, the acronym for Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, is the charity that was involved with organising the fleet of aid ships that attempted to bust the Gaza blockade on May 31.
Nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli navy seals when commandos stormed one of the six boats in the flotilla -- the Turkish-owned ferry, Mavi Marmara.
Public television said that IHH is now part of a list of movements or organisations such as the Palestinian Islamist Hamas or Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah group which are under scrutiny by Israeli intelligence services
Questionned by AFP a spokesman for the Israeli defence ministry declined to confirm or deny the report.
But a senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity that "the IHH charity is considered as criminal in Israel because it supports terrorism and has close links with Hamas," the Islamist rulers of Gaza.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ygal Palmor told AFP "Israel will consider a hostile act any bid by enemy countries to break the Gaza blockade" -- amid reports aid ships from Iran and Lebanon would try to reach the Gaza Strip.
In other news, Hezbollah fast-boats are expected to try outrun Israeli war-ships. Meaning, if soldiers can't mount the 'humanitarian civilian aid ships', they'd have to sink them to preserve the blockade. Expect war.
Israel fears Lebanese ‘fast’ flotilla
While the IDF continued Wednesday to track the Iranian ships en route to the Gaza Strip, the Navy was put on high alert amid fears that another flotilla would be launched from Lebanon, leaving – due to the short distance – little time to stop it.
A cargo ship left Iran earlier this week and is expected to try and break the Israeli-imposed siege on Gaza as early as the weekend.
Another ship is scheduled to join at the beginning of next week. The IDF is closely tracking the ships but is particularly concerned about the possibility that a number of ships will set sail from Lebanon, possibly even with Hizbullah operatives aboard.
“There is not a lot of time to stop fast ships that come from Lebanon,” an IDF officer explained, “Practically, it means that the Navy has to be on high alert around the clock.”
The Navy will likely first try to stop the ships by calling on them to stop at sea and far from the Gaza coast.
In related news, Syrian Hitler impersonator is rubbing his fingers in anticipation of war. Finger lickin' for a killin'.
Assad: Israeli flotilla raid increased chances of war (with video on BBC)
Israel's deadly interception of ships trying to break the blockade of Gaza last month has increased the likelihood of war in the Middle East, according to Syria's president.
Nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists died when Israeli forces boarded the flotilla - Israel says its troops were acting in self-defence.
Speaking to our Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen, the Syrian leader Bashar Assad says that action has made it much harder for there to be any constructive dialogue with his Israeli neighbour.