Israel Releases Turkish Flotilla Ships

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HAIFA, Israel - The Mavi Marmara, the Turkish-owned flagship that led the attempt to break the Israeli naval blockade on the Gaza Strip at the end of May, will be returning to Ankara.

The flagship and two other ships from the six-vessel flotilla have been held by Israel since the confrontation aboard the Mavi Marmara in which nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists died.

Three Turkish tugboats arrived at the Haifa port on Thursday morning to escort the ships back to Turkey.

Israel's Foreign Ministry sent a letter to Turkish authorities reiterating the expectation that there will be no further attempts to breech the naval blockade of the Gaza port.

"Israel expects that Turkey will prevent other Turkish vessels from violating the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip," the Foreign Ministry's spokesman said in a statement.

Click here to read the full statement.

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