Italian Legislators to EU: Add IHH to Terror List

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JERUSALEM, Israel - A group of Italian legislators want the European Union to add IHH, the Turkish humanitarian aid organization, to its list of terrorist groups.

"The Islamic fundamental nature of IHH has been documented by numerous declarations praising martyrdom and Israel's destruction," Italian legislator Flamma Nirenstein, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

"Several investigations and reports testify to the involvement of IHH in global terrorism," Nirenstein said.

"And many videos and documents attest to its jihadist attitude," which fit the EU's criteria for "participation in the activities of a terrorist group, including by funding its activities or supplying material resources," she said.

In the legislators' petition to parliament, they cite IHH's links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, vis-à-vis the Union of Good, which the U.S. Treasury lists as a terror-funding group.

"The Turkish organization IHH [Insani Yardim Vafki] [was] one of the promoters of the Mavi Marmara and responsible for its violent implications," Nirenstein said.

The IHH recruited around 40 Islamists to travel on board the Turkish-owned vessel, which sought to breech Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip at the end of May.

When Israeli Navy commandos attempted to board the ship, the Islamists attacked them with stun grenades, metal pipes, chains and knives. In the end, the soldiers were given permission to use their handguns in self-defense. Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed in the fracas. 

A group of U.S. senators has also recommended adding IHH to America's list of terrorist organizations, and Germany recently banned the group.

Nirenstein, a member of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, serves as vice president of the National Affairs Committee in the Chamber of Deputies, where she heads a subcommittee that tracks anti-Semitic incidents.

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The Jerusalem Post contributed to this report.

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