Israel says to free Turkish Gaza aid ships held after deadly raid

Israel decided to free Turkish-owned aid ships that Israeli troops attacked en route to the besieged Gaza Strip two months ago.

Israel says to free Turkish Gaza aid ships held after deadly raid

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israel decided on Friday to free Turkish-owned aid ships that Israeli troops attacked en route to the besieged Gaza Strip two months ago.

"Israel will make required logistic arrangements to set free the three Turkish ships which it seized with a raid on May 31 when the ships were carrying aid to Gaza, and inform Turkey about the details in coming days", Turkish Anadolu news agency said.

Three Turkish ships have been kept at Israeli ports since May 31.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry executive confirmed the decision, which had been made with the consent of all concerned authorities.

"The military spokesperson is expected to make the official statement regarding the decision", the agency said.

Nine aid activists, including eight Turkish and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent, were killed when Israeli forces raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31. Around 30 people were wounded in the attack.

Israel detained the passengers of the ships for a few days after the raid, and sent the majority of the passengers to Turkey.

The aid in the ships were sent to border crossings to be distributed in Gaza.

"Mavi Marmara" ship has been kept at Haifa port, and the other two Turkish ships "Defne" and "Gazze (Gaza)" at Ashdod port.

"Spanish lawsuit"

Meanwhile, three Spanish activists, who were aboard the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara ship during the raid, plan to file a law suit against Israel for alleged crimes against humanity.

"The 83-page document takes aim at Netanyahu, his forum of top six cabinet ministers and the Israel Navy", Israeli media said.

The three Spanish activists told the Republica newspaper that Israel had arrested them illegally and deported them by force, after subjecting them to hardships during the raid.

Turkey demands international independent panel on aid attack on international waters, rejects Israel's internal probe.

Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador, cancelled joint military exercises, and called for Israel to end its blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Temmuz 2010, 12:59

SeydiAli

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