Turkey has agreed to cancel a second “freedom flotilla” which was set to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. In exchange for Ankara’s cancellation, Jerusalem allowed for the Turks to send planes of humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Earlier this week, Turkey’s “humanitarian relief” organization known as IHH announced it was going to attempt a “rerun” of the 2010 incident that resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish nationals. Israel considers IHH to be a terrorist group.
In 2010, the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, filled with anti-Israel rioters, attempted to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. The flotilla and its relief organization had overtly planned on violating a sovereign country’s legal authority to continue a blockade of Gaza. When IDF forces boarded the ship, they were attacked by the crew of the “freedom flotilla,” forcing Israeli soldiers to draw arms and respond, which resulted in the death of nine of the Mavi Marmara’s passengers.
Turkey responded with fury to the incident, announcing that Israel’s ambassador to Ankara would no longer be allowed to stay there. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan also demanded an apology from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After two years, Erdogan finally received his apology after US President Barack Obama continuously pressured the Israeli Prime MInister to do so.
Under international law, an attempt by a state-sponsored organization to break a blockade by another sovereign state can be defined as an act of war against the latter state.