Report: Qatar Plans to Fund a New Gaza Flotilla

Qatar, a dedicated supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, will fund a flotilla to Gaza spearheaded by a Turkish group with reported terrorist ties, according to an Israeli media report.

A report by the Israeli news site NRG quoted in the Algemeiner stated that Qatar and IHH, the Turkish group that bills itself as humanitarian, signed a cooperation agreement on Monday.

The Jerusalem Post also reported on the cooperation agreement but did not state that a new flotilla was part of the agreement.

Turkish Gaza flotilla ship, the Mavi Marmara, is seen in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, May 30, 2011 (AP Photo)
Turkish Gaza flotilla ship, the Mavi Marmara, is seen in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, May 30, 2011. (AP)

IHH was the key group behind the 2010 Gaza flotilla, which tried to break Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza instituted to stop the flow of weapons to Hamas.

Instead, the Israel Defense Forces boarded one of the vessels, the Mavi Marmara, before it reached Gaza. Upon boarding, the soldiers were attacked by Islamist IHH activists wielding knives and metal bars, the IDF ultimately killing nine activists in response.

“The organization will send another flotilla after they receive permission from the government in Ankara that Turkish naval forces will defend the flotilla and its participants,” IHH leader Bulent Yildirim said, according to the Algemeiner.

Turkey had initially expressed support for a new flotilla but reversed course.

Yildirim is under investigation for financial ties to Al-Qaeda, Turkish media have reported, the Algemeiner noted.

Israeli government officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in recent weeks have lambasted the Qatari government for its support of Hamas. Al Jazeera is owned and funded by Qatar, leading to criticism in Israel of its coverage of the 50 days of violence between Hamas and Israel.

On Tuesday, a cease-fire was announced, putting an end at least for now to the 4,450 rockets that were fired into Israeli communities since July by Hamas and other terrorist groups and the IDF’s response to the launchings.

In May, the father of one of those killed on the Mavi Marmara was invited to accompany the Turkish prime minister on his visit to Washington, D.C.

The father of Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old with both Turkish and U.S. citizenship who had expressed his desire for “martyrdom,” had a breakfast meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry during the same trip, an event touted by the Turkish foreign minister on Twitter.


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