IHH administration said “We will not even pass close by the Israeli waters. If they attack us regardless, what is the difference between them and the pirates of Somalia?”, in their response to the threats by Israeli Foreign Ministry regarding the humanitarian aid ships to Palestine, saying “We will strike on the ships if they sail near Gaza”.
Bulent Yildirim, President of IHH (The Foundation For Human Rights And Freedoms And Humanitarian Relief) , said “Let them come and attack us, we have no preparation to strike back. Whether they fire down on us, bomb us with airplanes, we will not let them onto our ships. They can attack, yes, but they will not be let onboard. We are not carrying weapons to Palestine, we are carrying humanitarian aid only.”
Israel is retaliating.
Yildirim went on to say “As a requirement of international laws, 12 miles off the shores belong to the territorial waters of countries. It applies to Israel as well. Our flotilla will be sailing 80 miles off of Israeli coast. We will never enter Israeli waters. We will take a 90 degrees turn just before entering the Egyptian territorial waters. Therefore, Israel have no right to claim ‘They have entered our territorial waters.’ They have no authority there. If they decide to attack us regardless of this fact, then, there is no difference left between Israel and the pirates of Somalia.”
Yavuz Dede, Vice President of IHH, noted that Izzet Sahin’s arrest is an act of retaliation by Israel and Izzet is still in prison with no charges against him, adding “Last week they told us that the first court hearing would be held on Tuesday, however on Monday, one day earlier than they declared, the hearing was held and they placed him into another prison. They deprive Sahin off his very right to defense. Even his lawyers were not informed of the time of the court hearing. What kind of state regulation is this, what kind of jurisdiction method?
Sahin is expected to be released
Officials from the Foreign Ministry of Turkey have visited Izzet Sahin yesterday in prison after long-time attempts. Together with staff from the Embassy, the team of visiting officials have declared that no sign of physical torture is observed on Izzet Sahin. Officials from the Foundation pointed out the possible infliction of psychological torture on Izzet Sahin, authorities from the Foreign Ministry expressed their expectation of Izzet Sahin’s release within 10-15 days. Israel accuses IHH representative Izzet Sahin of “threatening Israeli security”.
We have a definite route, Israel has no right to attack.
Bulent Yildirim, President of IHH, said “We will take a 90-degree turn before entering the Egyptian waters and sail into Palestine. Therefore, Israel cannot say ‘They have entered our waters’. They have no right to attack. If they decide to attack regardless, then, there is no difference left between Israel and the pirates of Somalia.”
Another ship donated
Yavuz Dede, Vice President of the Foundation, noted that they sense a state of panic within Israel, added “Despite the standard limit of 12 miles, they are now trying to impose their own limit of 40 miles. We are not combat-ships. We are not carrying weapons. We now have 8 ships. In coming days we will purchase another cargo ship. A donor who wished to remain anonymous has donated another ship. The flotilla will consist of 9 ships in total. We will be sailing off from near Cyprus in the end of May. We will be delivering 6,000 tons of cement, 2,000 tons of iron, medicines and medical equipment to Gaza no matter what.”