Thousands in Istanbul hold anti-Israel rally

Thousands of Turks in Istanbul rallied against Israel on May 31, marking the second anniversary of an Israel Defense Forces interception of the Mavi Marmara ship, part of a flotilla that claimed to be carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Israel determined that the flotilla was violating its blockade of the coastal area, and found weapons aboard.

The Humanitarian Aid Foundation, known as IHH and one of the main groups behind the flotilla, organized last week’s rally. Israel, the United States and other nations consider the IHH to be a terrorist group.

Earlier last week, a Turkish criminal court accepted indictments against the four top Israeli commanders who led the 2010 operation.

Turkey and Israel have not had diplomatic relations since the incident. — jta