Hamas scatters ashes of Gaza-bound flotilla dead on militants' graves
Senior Hamas leader tells reporters that 'this action reiterates the strong ties between the Turkish people and the Palestinians in confronting Israel.'
Members of the Islamic Hamas movement Saturday scattered ashes from the nine Turkish activists killed by Israeli naval forces during the interception of their Gaza-bound flotilla on the graves of Hamas militants killed in Gaza.
The dust of the Turkish activists was brought to Gaza by campaigners form the aid convoy Lifeline 5 - which arrived in the coastal enclave on Thursday, Hamas officials said.
Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas leader who scattered the ashes on Hamas militants' graves, told reporters that "this action reiterates the strong ties between the Turkish people and the Palestinians in confronting Israel."
He added "those campaigners of the freedom flotilla, had sacrificed themselves and their blood for breaking the siege imposed on Gaza. Today the dusts are mixed upon the request of the families of the Turkish victims."
"The dust of Palestinian martyrs will be sent to Turkey to be mixed with the dust of the Turkish martyrs," Zahar said.
Israel has imposed a sea blockade on the Gaza Strip since the Hamas movement seized control of the enclave by force in 2007.
The list of prohibited items was relaxed slightly in the wake of the deadly interception.
This week the former British parliamentarian George Galloway had managed to send five convoys of vehicles and aid to the Gaza Strip via Egypt. The last Gaza Lifeline convoy included around 140 vehicles and aid that worth five million dollars.