Israel Adds IHH to Terror Watch List

Israel added IHH, the Turkish pro-Palestinian group that sent an aid flotilla to Gaza last month, to its terror watch list yesterday.

Israel also issued stern warnings to Lebanese and Iranian organizers of similar aid ships, Israeli media reported.

IHH told members of the European Parliament it has assembled six ships for its next flotilla and asked others to join its effort to break through Israel's blockade of Gaza. Its last attempt to do so led to the deaths of nine Turkish citizens in an Israeli raid of the Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmara.

Foreign Ministry director-general Yossi Gal told foreign diplomats yesterday that a flotilla setting off from Lebanon "will not be allowed in."

Gal said Israel sees the flotilla as hostile because it is supported by Hezbollah and setting off from an enemy state, and that Israel cannot dismiss the possibility that the ships will be carrying weapons, terrorists or both.

Israel has told the United States, France and the United Nations to send the message to Lebanon that Israel views the flotilla as a "provocation intended to escalate the violence."

Through intermediaries, Israel has been told the Lebanese government cannot stop the flotilla because it is a private initiative.