The “Freedom Flotilla” coalition, after holding a meeting in Amsterdam, called the countries participating in the coming flotilla slated to be launched by mid of next May,to take tangible measures to ensure the security and safety of their citizens against potentials of any Israeli aggression, as it did with Freedom Flotilla I. Ameen Abu Rashed , member of “The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza” ECESG , and member of the coalition said that all state government worldwide have denounced the Israeli attack on Freedom Flotilla that took place on 31st of last May in the international waters off Gaza coast, and resulted in the killing of nine Turkish activists. Abu Rashed , in a press statement, pointed out that the United Nations Human Rights report has reaffirmed that the Israeli navy dealt with the passengers of the flotilla in a very savage way. The report also added that there is clear evidence to support the criminal prosecution of the Israeli navy, according to article 147 of fourth Geneva convention, for the following crimes : willful killing, torture, or inhuman treatment , and willfully causing suffering, or serious injury to body or health”. From his part, Benji Levy the spokesperson of the Holland vessel participating in the flotilla, said “ the humanitarian mission of the second Freedom Flotilla is a peaceful mission comes to respond to the silence of governments towards the suffering of the besieged Gaza Strip”. Levy added, in a press statement, that “ any military or political attempt to hinder or intercept the Freedom Flotilla from reaching Gaza Strip will be considered as a violation to the international law , and our government should deal with it on this basis”. It’s worth to mention that preparations are afoot in all institutions that are willing to participate in the flotilla to break the siege and reach Gaza Strip in ( Europe, North America, North Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia). Levy concluded that 15 vessels are expected to participate in the next flotilla to be loaded by various relief material, and with more than one thousand passengers, including media people, politicians, charity workers, and activists of human rights issues.
A Dutch media report indicates that the meeting was also attended by a representative of IHH, the Turkish charity that played a major role in the first flotilla.
Various sources identify Mr. Rashed (aka Amin Abou, Amin Rashid) as a founding member of the European Campaign To End the Siege on Gaza, discussed in an earlier post as one of the major members of the flotilla coalition. According to a report on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood web site:
The European campaign to end the siege on Gaza has condemned the Israeli threats to block the Freedom Flotilla, carrying hundreds of solidarity activists and humanitarian assistance to the besieged Gaza Strip. Amin Abu Rashed, a founding member of the European campaign who is currently in Athens to prepare for the sail of the ships, said in a press release on Tuesday that the Israeli foreign ministry’s threats would not dissuade the organizers from changing their plans. He asserted that the Flotilla consisting of nine cargo and passenger ships and boats would set sail as scheduled within days, adding that the organizing alliance did not announce a date for arrival in Gaza. Abu Rashed disclosed that the European campaign had laid down a contingency plan in the event Israeli navy intercepted the Flotilla including filing lawsuits in European courts in addition to a series of sit-ins and demonstrations before Israeli embassies. He underlined that 600 solidarity activists from 20 countries would be aboard the boats along with 5,000 tons of cement, construction material, medical equipment, educational materials, and prefabricated homes.
A Palestinian media report identifies Mr. Rashed as “the coordinator of humanitarian affairs and representative of the European aid fleet in Holland.” A report by the NEFA Foundation report further identifies Mr. Rashed as a part of the now defunct Al-Aqsa Foundation in the Netherlands as well as a leader in a Palestinian advocacy group:
Another former member of the Foundation al-Aqsa recently surfaced in a court case in the United States. In the U.S. government’s prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, a Texas-based charity charged with funding HAMAS, an exhibit provided a description of the HAMAS support network in Europe. The writer of the document was Amin Abou Ibrahim of the Foundation al-Aqsa in Rotterdam. Since the de facto closure of Foundation al-Aqsa, Amin Abou Ibrahim, whose real name is Amin Rashid, moved on to the Foundation Palestinian Platform for Human Rights and Solidarity (PPMS). This organization was created at the end of 2005 and is by far the most active and most vocal mouthpiece for the Palestinian cause in the Netherlands. Amin Rashid was recently described in the Dutch press as being the chairman of the PPMS, although on the Arabic language website of the organization he is mentioned as being the director. A recent change in the foundation’s board left the chairmanship open.
According to another NEFA Foundation report, the Al-Aqsa Foundation Netherlands was formerly the Dutch member organization of the Union of Good, the coalition of Hamas fundraising charities headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and described in yet another NEFA report as follows:
The Union of Good is a coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. It is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, and most of the trustees and member organizations are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. The Union of Good was banned by Israel in 2002 and was recently designated a terrorist entity by the United States, although neither Youssef Qaradawi nor any of the Trustees were similarly designated. Despite the fact that action has been taken against some of its member organizations in Europe, many of its other European member organizations continue to operate. Further, the Union of Good itself does not appear to be under investigation in Europe.
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) has recently published a new report titled “Turkey, the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and the Gaza Flotilla.” The 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