The Palestinian prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, has unveiled a memorial at Gaza City’s Port to the victims of Freedom Flotilla 1. The monument is inscribed with the names of the nine Turkish activists who were killed aboard Freedom Flotilla 1’s lead ship, the Mavi Marmara, in May 2010. During the accompanying ceremony, the flags of all the states which took part in the Flotilla were flown with the Turkish flag taking pride of place as a tribute to the lead role the country has taken in efforts to break the siege on Gaza.
During his address, the prime minister highlighted Turkey’s key role in the organisation and participation in the previous and upcoming Flotillas as well as the significant support and solidarity they have shown with the Palestinian people in their various efforts to break the siege on Gaza.
Mr Haniyeh voiced disapproval of calls made by the Secretary General of the United Nations to prevent the second fleet from setting off for Gaza. He said that they had rather expected that Mr Ban Ki-moon would express condemnation of the blockade on Gaza and refer the leaders of the occupation to the International Court of Justice for their crimes.
Mr Haniyeh stressed that the Palestinian state could not come about through US favour asserting that it would only be established through the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, who had made sacrifice and given their blood, and with the support of the Arab and Islamic nation.