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June 17, 2010

Pro-Palestinian Turkish Aid Group Plans Another Gaza Flotilla

The Turkish Muslim charity whose Gaza-bound aid flotilla was raided by Israeli commandos last month said it will send more ships next month to challenge Israel's blockade of the Palestinian territory, says Reuters.

The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Aid, more commonly known as IHH, told members of the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday that it would dispatch another six-ship convoy in the second half of July. Nine activists were killed May 31 during fighting on the organization's ship that Israeli forces boarded as it approached Gaza.

Israel has placed the Turkish group on its list of "terrorist organizations," the news service Agence France-Press writes, citing a report on Israeli public television.

Israel and some Western countries suspect IHH of having close ties to Islamic extremists. The organization, founded in 1992 to aid Muslims during the Bosnian war, has denied the allegation and said its focus is relief operations and human rights.