Mavi Marmara Court Case to Continue – We Hope the Parliament doesn’t Forgive Israeli Murderers
Today following the ongoing diplomatic negotiations Israel and Turkey have officially announced normalized relations, which have been strained following the attack on Mavi Marmara on 31st May 2010. Netanyahu’s announcement on behalf of Israel came around the same time Turkey issued a statement about it. In the press conference, Netanyahu has declared in a victorious attitude that “It is a tremendous economic success for Israel. The blockade on Gaza by no means is lifted nor shall it ever be lifted. Turkey has agreed to our terms.” He has highlighted that Israel agreed not to pay compensation but to make a donation of 20 million dollars provided that the cases are withdrawn; that this move will prevent the case from establishing a precedent for other crimes of Israeli soldiers; that the agreement is a significant gain. Unfortunately the rapprochement agreement which is announced by Turkey means that blockade on Gaza is recognized by Turkey. Indeed Gaza is free according to the agreement signed in 2005 and is entitled to the right to travel and do business as it pleases without relying on anybody. The embargo means that Israel is recognized as a superior authority which has the final say on what and how much supplies can enter Gaza and this is the subject matter of the agreement announced.
The rapprochement agreement may be regarded as the easing of the blockade although many provisions are quite ambiguous. However it only constitutes a partial permission granted to Turkey. What kind of supplies and how much supplies will Israel allow Turkey to bring in to Gaza stands as a big question mark. Indeed supply entry and exit from Gaza should be free like in every other country. The issue is not entry of humanitarian relief supplies into Gaza but making sure that Gaza has its freedom of movement and transactions so that it does not have to rely on external aid. Palestine is deprived of this freedom and doomed to rely on external aid only while international law grants it to every land and government. It is simply unacceptable. Therefore, as IHH we would like to announce that we will keep up our efforts in all fronts including legal and physical arenas for the removal of the illegal and unjustifiable blockade on Gaza.
Meanwhile it is reported that the agreement has a provision stipulating that a donation will be made to the families of the victims provided that the court cases are withdrawn. These lawsuits are not filed only by victims’ families and Turkish citizens but international victims of the Mavi Marmara attack from 37 different countries. There is no withdrawal of the cases. The victims’ families remain adamant about refusing to give up their cause or withdraw their case until and unless the blockade is removed.
Israel’s arrogant attitude as if to say “I kill people and pay in cash whatever is the cost” is unacceptable. Who is going to protect Turkish citizens from Israel in international waters? Turkish government has acted this way and came to an agreement with the Israeli party. Just like what we have said since the beginning, as an international NGO we do not condone an agreement with Israel. We were never involved in the agreement nor did we partake as a party. To this day we have voiced our warnings and suggestions. From then onwards we will keep standing with Palestinian people through our court cases, our actions to break the blockade, our protests and various aids. The Mavi Marmara court cases are to continue. We hope that the parliament does not endorse this agreement which means that Israeli murderers are exonerated by Turkey. Mavi Marmara stood as a hope in the Islamic world and for the oppressed people of the world. It is our duty to keep this hope which stands for the common consciousness of humanity alive. We would like to rest our case with a Palestinian saying “Whoever covers up with Israel will remain naked.”