Middle East

Gazans mark Mavi Marmara attack anniversary

Palestinians gather on the fourth anniversary of the Mavi Marmara ship, the lead boat of a flotilla headed to the Gaza Strip which was stormed by Israeli naval commandos in a predawn confrontation in the Mediterranean on May 31, 2010, in Gaza City, Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

GAZA: Scores of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Saturday participated in an event marking the 4th anniversary of a 2010 Israeli attack on the Turkish aid flotilla Mavi Marmara off the coast of the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Participants carried placards glorifying Turkey and calling for freedom for the Gaza Strip, which has been reeling under an Israeli blockade since 2006.

Saturday's event was organized by the independent Popular Committee against the Siege on Gaza.

"Today we mourn those who sacrificed their lives for Palestine," Gamal al-Khudari, the head of the Popular Committee against the Siege of Gaza, told a press conference.

In May 2010, Israeli commandos killed eight Turkish nationals along with a U.S. citizen of Turkish descent when they attacked the Mavi Marmara in international waters off Gaza.

The Turkish ship was part of a humanitarian flotilla that carried aid and construction materials to the Palestinian strip.

The attack led to international outrage and soured Turkish-Israeli ties.

Last year, under pressures from the U.S., Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered an apology to Turkey during a phone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The two states then started negotiations on a compensation deal for the families of the victims. Israel reportedly offered $20 million in compensation for the families of Turks killed in the raid.





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