Israel Detains Turkey National Over Illegal Gaza Aid Work

Izzet Shahin, arrested in the West Bank by Israeli security forces two weeks ago, had been organizing a Gaza aid shipment.

Amos Harel
Amos Harel
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Amos Harel
Amos Harel

The Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet arrested a Turkish national suspected of being a member of an outlawed Islamic group, a released gag order revealed on Monday.

Izzet Shahin, a volunteer for the Turkish NGO Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), was arrested in the West Bank by Israeli security forces two weeks ago and had been transferred to a Shin Bet investigation.

IHH, who had been organizing a Gaza aid boat planned to depart at the end of the month, was outlawed in Israel a few years ago.

According to the IHH website, the organization had been organizing a "major initiativeto deliver aid via the sea to the Gaza Strip, which has been under an embargo for over three years."

"Hundreds of concerned people will set out on 10 ships in May to take over 5,000 tons of relief aid and materials to Gaza," the website statement said,

In an unrelated affair earlier Monday, the military censor lifted a gag order on news that two Israeli Arab political activists were arrested last week on charges of spying and contact with a foreign agent from Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Omar Said, a member of the Balad movement, and Amir Makhoul, director general of the charity Ittijah (Union of Arab Community-Based Associations) were detained by the Shin Bet security service and police anti-terror squads.

A boat carrying pro-Palestinian activists and European politicians arriving to Gaza City, November 8, 2008. Credit: AFP

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