Email | Print
Wed, Oct 06, 2010 | The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center | IHH
Bülent Yildirim, head of the Turkish Islamist organization IHH, behind the microphones at a reception for the Viva Palestina aid in Istanbul. Next to him (black suit) is George Galloway, declared persona non grata in Egypt. Fourth from left is convoy spokesman and British-based Hamas activist Zaher Birawi. Third from left (light suit) is British-based Hamas activist Muhammad Sawalha (www.ihh.org.tr/ website, October 4 2010)
Peace and Humanity Convoy Part of Anti-Israel Propaganda
The Viva Palestina aid convoy:
George Galloway’s Viva Palestina convoy is currently in Syria, en route to the Gaza Strip. On October 7, 2010, it is expected to set sail from the Syrian port of Latakia for El Arish (Hamas’ Al-Quds TV, October 4, 2010). The convoy, headed by George Galloway, expects to meet the leaders of the Palestinian terrorist organizations operating in Damascus (Al-Watan, October 4, 2010).
According to reports, Turkish participation in the convoy has been reduced to ten vehicles. In Istanbul the convoy was received by IHH activists, and at a ceremony held in its honor, IHH leader Bülent Yildirim called on Egypt to allow it to pass through its territory (IHH website, September 29, 2010; Al-Quds Al-Arabi, October 2, 2010).
The convoy from Jordan and the Gulf States is currently also in Syria and expected to join the British convoy in Latakia. It apparently includes 52 vehicles and 134 activists (Al-Watan and Hamas’ Al-Quds TV, October 4, 2010). The convoy from North Africa is having difficulties finding a ship to carry it to Syria, and it is unclear if its activists and equipment will arrive. A group from Algeria announced its intention to leave for Syria by air and is expected to arrive on October 5 (Al-Quds Al-Arabi, September 28, 2010).
Another IHH convoy: IHH announced it intended to organize another aid convoy, this one to leave India on December 2 and travel overland with activists from 17 Asian countries. It would pass through Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Turkey and from there travel by boat to the Gaza Strip, reaching it on or about December 27 (IHH website, October 4, 2010). On another occasion, IHH head Bülent Yildirim said that the organization planned to send more convoys to the Gaza Strip, both overland and by sea, and that it was even considering buying aircraft (Al-Jazeera TV, September 29, 2010).
Convoy vehicles enter Syria (Viva Palestina website, October 5, 2010).
Freedom Flotilla 2: Rami Abdo, a member of the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) said that on September 27 a meeting was held in Athens of the preparatory committee of the upgraded Freedom Flotilla 2, which also had participants from Canada and the United States, as well as from Switzerland, France and Italy. He said that “the flotilla’s organizers are working to make its results match those of the first Freedom Flotilla” (Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, September 29, 2010).
The “Jewish Flotilla”: IDF forces took over the Irene on September 28 without confrontation or casualties.
The following pictures are from the IHH website (click the first picture for a slideshow):
The Irish-Palestinian connection, Irish flags and Palestinian flags. "The attending activists staged a lively scene with Palestinian flags and Viva Palestina t-shirts," according to the IHH website.
"Belfast to Gaza." An extensive anti-Israel Propaganda effort by the IHH and Viva Palestina. More than 100 activists from 25 countries are counting down days to enter Gaza.
Bülent Yildirim, head of the Islamist IHH organization speaks at the meeting. He said that "he was expecting Egypt to allow the convoy to cross into Gaza through its territory. Yıldırım recalled a United Nations report found Israel totally guilty of the attack on the Mavi Marmara and added “Israel is looking for accomplices in its crimes. Egypt should let the convoy enter its territory and refrain from taking a position similar to the Israel’s.” Palestine is not only Gaza, but it includes the West Bank as well, Yıldırım said and added that they would prepare new convoy to head for the West Bank through Jordan. “Muslims, Christians, and Jews from different parts of the world will be visiting al-Quds. They will not leave the city to Israel,” he said. (IHH website)
George Galloway (black suit) standing next to Bülent Yildirim. Egypt announced it would not let George Galloway, British MP who it deported after the 2009 convoy movement, enter the country. Despite the possibility of a rejection from Egypt, the convoy is determined to enter Egypt with Galloway. (IHH website)
George Galloway, organizer of the convoy and head of Viva Palestina said “I would like to call on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak: We are a peaceful and humanitarian convoy. We do not have any problem with Egypt. We changed our route as you required and complied with all the other formalities. I hope you will not stop us.” He thanked the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation and stressed the Mavi Marmara incident made history, adding “We will continue to cooperate with the IHH.” (IHH website)
George Galloway said they would visit graves of the Mavi Marmara victims in the cities they would be driving through and visit the boat at İskenderun Port. We will stop at the point in the Mediterranean where the Mavi Marmara came under a bloody raid and throw flowers into the sea here, he added.
Galloway speaking with the Irish flag waving behind him. Also at the meeting was Muhammad Sawalha, head of the European Committee against the Embargo. He said “What we request from Egypt is that it allows all activists, including George Galloway.” Such international campaigns will continue until the embargo is lifted, he added. Other convoy members expressed hope in their speeches that Egypt would not stop them. (IHH website)
Following the press conference the activists went to visit graves of Mavi Marmara activists Cevdet Kılıçlar and Necdet Yıldırım at the Edirnekapı graveyard and recited prayers here. (IHH website)