World Bulletin / News Desk
Dozens of Palestinians marked Tuesday the sixth anniversary of a deadly raid by Israeli commandos on a Turkish aid flotilla that had sought to break Israel’s years-long siege of the Gaza Strip.
"Today we remember our brothers who died for the Palestinian cause and who tried to break the blockade on Gaza," Mehmet Kaya, a representative of the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, which organized Tuesday’s commemoration in Gaza, said.
On May 31, 2010, nine Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara -- the flotilla’s lead ship -- were killed, and 30 others injured, when the Israeli navy attacked the vessel in international waters.
A tenth activist died nearly four years later, succumbing to injuries sustained during the raid.
The incident served to raise tensions between Israel and Turkey, the latter of which responded by recalling its ambassador from Tel Aviv.
"The Mavi Marmara has become a symbol uniting Muslims all over the world," Kaya said.
He went on to urge the Palestinians to unite with a view to eventually attaining independence and statehood.
Ghazi Hamad, Gaza’s deputy foreign minister, for his part, said the Mavi Marmara incident "was the epitome of sacrifice for the Palestinian cause".
Turkey, he stressed, would continue to support the Palestinian people both politically and diplomatically.