May
31

First Ship of 2nd Gaza Flotilla To Depart Germany On June 20

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A Union of Good website is reporting that the first vessel in the second Gaza Flotilla will depart from Hamburg, Germany on June 20. According to the report:

The European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza (ECESG), from its headquarters in Brussels that the first vessel of Freedom Flotilla II will set sail to Gaza on the 20th of next month, and will be followed by other vessels from ports of eleven European countries. Anwar Al-Gharbi, member of the campaign, the biggest participant in the flotilla, in statement received by “ humanitarian voice”, said that the first vessel, a German-Swiss will set sail in the 20th of next month from Hamburg on the Elbe River to the North Sea to join the other vessels of the flotilla. Al-Gharbi added that the German-Swiss vessel will carry 40 Swiss prominent figures, including parliamentarians, politicians, media people, and jurists in addition to ten German activists aiming to break the oppressive Israeli siege imposed on Gaza for the fifth consecutive year…..Al-Gharbi also emphasized that the Freedom Flotilla is determined to go on heading to Gaza to fulfill its humanitarian mission , break the siege, and draw world’s attention to the ordeal of the Palestinians who lack the basic needs of life. The “ECESG” has recently explained that 12 European countries will participate with vessels that they own individually or jointly in the Freedom Flotilla II, while stressing the importance of providing an international protection to the flotilla, slated to carry hundreds of solidarity activists on its board. It added that “ vessels from four European countries : France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland have announced their readiness to join the Freedom Flotilla II during the next month, beside eight more vessels from other countries to break the siege of Gaza. ECESG explained that these vessels will carry a number of jurists and European parliamentarians , beside hundreds of activists and supporters of the Palestinian cause and the besieged people of Gaza Strip. The ECESG, which is one of main founders of Freedom Flotilla coalition, reaffirmed that the European countries whose citizens are participating in this campaign, should provide the necessary protection against any potential Israeli attack that might endanger the lives of passengers. It recalled the offensive that took place on Freedom Flotilla I on the 31st of May,2010, when the Israeli navy attacked the vessels in the international waters killing nine Turkish activists, and injuring tens of other passengers.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) has recently published an almost hundred page report titled “Turkey, the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and the Gaza Flotilla” which provides extensive background on the years leading up to the 1st Gaza Flotilla. The JCPA report abstract states:

There is strong evidence for Turkish governmental involvement in the Gaza flotilla incident, with Turkish government support channeled through the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The IHH was not acting alone but rather was an integral part of a Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network.

With respect to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, report’s second conclusion states:

The Gaza flotilla incident brought into sharp focus an even more significant long- term development: the growing relationship between the Erdogan government and the Global Muslim Brotherhood, which has given rise to some of the most notorious Islamist terrorist groups – from al-Qaeda to Hamas. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood, while the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip acted as the main axis for this activity.

The second flotilla appears to have been organized largely by the European Campaign To End The Siege On Gaza (ECESG) which operates from the same address and has the same telephone as the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) which as strong ties to Hamas and the Global Muslim Brotherhood. In addition to his role as charman of the ECESG, Arafat Madi (aka Arafat Madi Shoukri) is the executive director of the PRC and two PRC directors are also directors of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), generally regarded as part of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood. PRC director Ghassan Four is also a Trustee of INTERPAL, a key member of the Union of Good and part of the Muslim Brotherhood Hamas fund-raising network . PRC director Zaher Birawi is a Trustee of Education Aid for Palestine (EAP), also a part of the Union of Good. Mr. Birawi is also head of programming for Al-Hiwar TV which frequently features MB/Hamas individuals and organizations and was founded by Azzam Al-Tamimi, a U.K Muslim Brotherhood leader and close to Hamas. An Israeli web site, known to be close to Israeli military intelligence, has reported that Mr. Birawi, along with another PRC Trustee, are “past Hamas operatives who found refuge in Britain in the early nineties.”

The PRC has co-sponsored past Palestinians in Europe conferences which have featured individuals tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas. For example, the 2010 conference was scheduled to feature Hamas legislator Aziz Al Duwaik and the 2009 conference was addressed via video link by Gaza Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. The 2008 Conference featured , former US. Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Akram Al-Adlouni, and Raed Salah, a leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel and close to Hamas. Nihad Awad of the U.S. Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was also invited to speak. A recent post discussed the 2011 conference held in May in Wuppertal, Germany and, as always, featured leaders from Hamas and the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

Previous posts have discussed the flotilla campaign aimed at ending the Israeli blockade likely orchestrated by the global Muslim Brotherhood and its European representatives. Earlier posts have also discussed plans by a British MP and the Campaign to launch legal action directed at the EU in regard to the Israeli blockade of Gaza and reported that a delegation from an anti-Gaza blockade campaign, likely the ECESG, had been expected to meet with high-ranking EU official Javier Solana. In January 2010, Arafat Madi reportedly met with the President of the European Parliament to discuss the Gaza situation.

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